un·​sub·​stan·​tial | \ ˌən-səb-ˈstan(t)-shəl How to pronounce unsubstantial (audio) \

Definition of unsubstantial

: not substantial : lacking substance, firmness, or strength unsubstantial shadows

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unsubstantial

unsubstantiality \ ˌən-​səb-​ˌstan(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce unsubstantiality (audio) \ noun
unsubstantially \ ˌən-​səb-​ˈstan(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce unsubstantially (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unsubstantial in a Sentence

as thin and unsubstantial as the wind an unsubstantial child who was unfit to play sports of any kind
Recent Examples on the Web Southerners will find an excuse to monogram just about anything, even items as small or unsubstantial as napkins or house slippers. Mary Shannon Wells, Southern Living, "How to Monogram with a Double Name," 24 Jan. 2018 As a result, the benefits of meditation have, in many cases, been overblown thanks to headlines harping on awesome-sounding but unsubstantial studies. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Meditation Can—and Can’t—Do for Your Health," 11 Sep. 2018 Fredenberger says that even the language in the agreement is unsubstantial and vague. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, "For 'accidental Americans,' the hidden costs prove taxing," 4 May 2018 Uniqlo’s AIRism briefs were extraordinarily lightweight, but the barely-there style might feel too unsubstantial. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The Best Men’s Underwear for Your Budget: We Tested 45 Kinds," 6 Mar. 2018 As unsubstantial as something like a sports championship might seem, people in Cleveland really did seem happier. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Do you believe the talk of the Cleveland comeback? Talk it out," 31 Aug. 2017 But if the lyrics are an indulgent sticky spoonful of cherry pie filling, the synthy dance pop underpinning is the aural equivalent of a rice cake: fluffy, unsubstantial and ultimately unsatisfying. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "There's too much artificial sweetener in Katy Perry's 'Bon Appetit'," 28 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unsubstantial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of unsubstantial

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unsubstantial

Time Traveler for unsubstantial

Time Traveler

The first known use of unsubstantial was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for unsubstantial

Cite this Entry

“Unsubstantial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsubstantial. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on unsubstantial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unsubstantial

Comments on unsubstantial

What made you want to look up unsubstantial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!