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 Her number for aid to states and local governments far exceeds what independent experts such as Moody's Analytics recommend, for example, and her position in favor of restoring the expensive state and local tax break is probably unsustainable. Arkansas Online, "Trump, McConnell huddle with virus talks at risk of collapse," 6 Aug. 2020 Investors that do pump money into D.T.C. brands are after swift returns, pushing companies to grow big and fast in a way that’s unsustainable. Irina Aleksander, New York Times, "Sweatpants Forever," 6 Aug. 2020 Wayfair defied the cynics on Wednesday by finally reporting a profit after years of losses, bolstered by a surge in shopping from homebound consumers—but analysts warn the growth might be unsustainable. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Wayfair finally turns a profit thanks to COVID-19 spending surge," 5 Aug. 2020 Handling overs via Instagram’s messaging system was proving to be unsustainable and disorganized as well. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area cheesecake Basuku finds a cult following through Instagram for delicate concoctions," 30 July 2020 At the time Muni was still running 68 bus lines, a plan that seemed unsustainable. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Jeffrey Tumlin was hailed as SF’s transportation savior. Now the Muni chief faces a leadership test," 11 July 2020 In North Texas, the growth of cases is accelerating -- now doubling every 18 days -- an unsustainable pace, experts say. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "‘Very, very difficult’: Texas COVID-19 hospitalizations at record high, nearing overwhelming level," 11 July 2020 The Mediterranean and Black Sea had the highest percentage of stocks fished at unsustainable levels (62.5%), followed by the Southeast Pacific (54.5%) and Southwest Atlantic (53.3%). Anchorage Daily News, "Pandemic’s effect on global seafood industry demand and pricing will be long-lasting, report says," 7 July 2020 The centerpiece of Calvin’s theology—the absolute, opaque sovereignty of God and our utter non-control over our own salvation—was, in Weber’s account, impossibly severe, unsustainable for the average person. George Blaustein, The New Republic, "Searching for Consolation in Max Weber’s Work Ethic," 2 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for unsustainable

Time Traveler

The first known use of unsustainable was circa 1677

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Statistics for unsustainable

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unsustainable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsustainable. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for unsustainable


How to pronounce unsustainable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unsustainable

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

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