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[uhn-hel-thee] /ʌnˈhɛl θi/
adjective, unhealthier, unhealthiest.
not in a state of good or normal health; in an unsound, weak, or morbid condition.
symptomatic of or resulting from bad health:
an unhealthy pallor.
not conducive to good health; unhealthful:
Night air was formerly considered unhealthy.
morally bad, harmful, or contaminating:
unhealthy examples for the young.
dangerous; risky:
Asking questions in this neighborhood can be unhealthy.
Origin of unhealthy
First recorded in 1585-95; un-1 + healthy
Related forms
unhealthily, adverb
unhealthiness, noun
1. sickly. 3. unhygienic, deleterious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unhealthily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They feed pretty largely but unhealthily, and eat pieces at lunch-time.

    New Worlds For Old Herbert George Wells
  • Or it drives him unhealthily outward, quickening the wish for mere stimulants and excitements of mind and interest.

    To My Younger Brethren

    Handley C. G. Moule
  • Long dwelling upon its power made them unduly and unhealthily conscious of its presence.

    Religion & Sex Chapman Cohen
  • The poor of the Western prairies lie almost as unhealthily close together as do the poor of the city tenements.

  • Next to him sat Batley, looking thoughtful; and Crestwick sat opposite Lisle, eager and unhealthily flushed.

    The Long Portage Harold Bindloss
  • And parts that are unhealthily relaxed are too positive, and should be made more negative.

  • He was short and slender, with thin white hair and a smooth, satirical face, deeply wrinkled and unhealthily pale.

    The Great God Success John Graham (David Graham Phillips)
  • The poor of the western prairies lie almost as unhealthily close together as do the poor of the city tenements.

    The Arena Various
  • Her red eyes, which looked buried in her unhealthily puffy face, kept blinking dejectedly.

British Dictionary definitions for unhealthily


adjective -healthier, -healthiest
characterized by ill-health; sick; unwell
characteristic of, conducive to, or resulting from ill-health: an unhealthy complexion, an unhealthy atmosphere
morbid or unwholesome
(informal) dangerous; risky
Derived Forms
unhealthily, adverb
unhealthiness, 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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Word Origin and History for unhealthily



1590s, "injurious to health," from un- (1) "not" + healthy. Earlier unhealthsome (1540s), unhealthful (1570s). Of persons, "sickly," it is attested from 1610s. Related: Unhealthily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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