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[non-pruh-duhk-tiv] /ˌnɒn prəˈdʌk tɪv/
not productive; unproductive.
not worthwhile or beneficial; not leading to practical or beneficial results.
not producing goods directly, as employees in charge of personnel or inspectors.
Origin of nonproductive
First recorded in 1920-25; non- + productive
Related forms
nonproductively, adverb
nonproductiveness, nonproductivity
[non-proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee, -prod-uh k-] /ˌnɒn proʊ dʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti, -prɒd ək-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for non-productive
Historical Examples
  • The entire force of a store is sometimes arbitrarily divided by the management into "productive," and "non-productive" help.

  • The miners had run into non-productive calcite a few hundred feet down, it was said.

    My Adventures with Your Money George Graham Rice
  • A non-productive plan of self-incarceration in a brain bastile by a mental midge of either sex, or none.

    The Roycroft Dictionary Elbert Hubbard
  • They make demands on the organism for nourishment, and are thus in the position of non-productive members of a working family.

    Parallel Paths Thomas William Rolleston
  • That is, we have a Massachusetts enclosed within our farms which is non-productive as far as direct returns are concerned.

  • Here also the arbitrary and non-productive style of teaching ran strongly counter to me at every step.

  • I have abandoned forever the sterile, non-productive religious beliefs of current theology.

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
  • He did his best to avoid observation, however, for he dreaded explaining the reason of his non-productive condition.

    The "Genius" Theodore Dreiser
  • (b) To develop organized thinking and accomplishment, and eliminate wasted, aimless, non-productive action.

  • By these means they buy cheaply, and there is no non-productive middle man to make a profit.

    A Rational Wages System Henry Atkinson
British Dictionary definitions for non-productive


(of workers) not directly responsible for producing goods
having disappointing results; unproductive
Derived Forms
nonproductiveness, noun
nonproductivity (ˌnɒnprɒdʌkˈtɪvɪtɪ) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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