un·​sub·​stan·​tial ˌən-səb-ˈstan(t)-shəl How to pronounce unsubstantial (audio)
: not substantial : lacking substance, firmness, or strength
unsubstantial shadows
unsubstantially 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 Salads Salads don’t have to feel flimsy or unsubstantial. Katie Workman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Sep. 2023 From a personal finance perspective, people with extra cash should feel free to put an unsubstantial portion of their wealth into high-risk, high-volatility assets like crypto or meme stocks or even Super Bowl bets (thanks for the two-touchdown performance, Cooper Kupp). Scott Nover, Quartz, 14 Feb. 2022 Brown dismissed it as cynical and unsubstantial. Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, 6 Mar. 2021 Still, Republicans plowed ahead with unsubstantial allegations of collusion between government officials and the company’s old regime. Cat Zakrzewski and Cristiano Lima, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Feb. 2023 Plus, researchers would still have to clear the not-unsubstantial hurdle of clearing the compound for such use in humans. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, 18 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unsubstantial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near unsubstantial

Cite this Entry

“Unsubstantial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsubstantial. Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​sub·​stan·​tial ˌən(t)-səb-ˈstan-chəl How to pronounce unsubstantial (audio)
: lacking substance, firmness, or strength
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