un·​sus·​tain·​able | \ ˌən-sə-ˈstā-nə-bəl How to pronounce unsustainable (audio) \

Definition of unsustainable

: not capable of being prolonged or continued : not sustainable unsustainable agricultural practices unsustainable growth

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Other Words from unsustainable

unsustainability \ ˌən-​sə-​ˌstā-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce unsustainability (audio) \ noun
unsustainably \ ˌən-​sə-​ˈstā-​nə-​blē How to pronounce unsustainably (audio) \ adverb
an unsustainably high rate of growth

Examples of unsustainable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Such transfers have become unsustainable, clubs simply cannot afford such ostentatious spending. James Masters, CNN, "Neymar, Bale, Coutinho: The loneliness of the megabuck soccer star," 3 Aug. 2019 That unsustainable service dramatically rose and fell, leaving the movie-hungry public open to the idea of another theater subscription service. oregonlive.com, "Regal offers a new unlimited movie viewing plan, but there are plenty of catches," 30 July 2019 But here’s the most sobering part: Earth Overshoot Day is probably a vast underestimation of the actual level of unsustainable planetary wreckage, and the scientists behind the numbers are the first to admit it. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Earth Overshoot Day is earlier than ever this year—and it underestimates the crisis," 27 July 2019 Marx, who was wrong about most things, was surely right to think that growing inequalities are unsustainable and provoke revolutions. K.n.c., The Economist, "The radical politics of futurists and fascists—and us, here, today," 19 July 2019 Instead of urging a ban, the IUCN report calls for reining in deforestation and discouraging the use of unsustainable palm oil. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "Courting controversy, scientists team with industry to tackle one of the world’s most destructive crops," 11 July 2019 Yet public debt continued to rise at an unsustainable pace. Priscilla Twumasi-baffour, Quartz Africa, "Many Ghanaians think their country should divorce the IMF—that isn’t likely to happen," 8 July 2019 On the Great Recession and its aftermath: The financial crisis was caused in part by lax, greedy lenders who set off an unsustainable housing boom. Chicago Tribune, Twin Cities, "Other voices: In praise of ingenuity: America’s record economic expansion," 23 June 2019 Earlier iterations of the program helped consumers avoid fish that came from unsustainable fisheries. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Slave labor is used to catch fish. This tech aims to stop it.," 13 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of unsustainable

circa 1677, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unsustainable

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for unsustainable

The first known use of unsustainable was circa 1677

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English Language Learners Definition of unsustainable

: not able to last or continue for a long time : not sustainable

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