[ non-pruh-duhk-tiv ]
See synonyms for nonproductive on
  1. not productive; unproductive.

  2. not worthwhile or beneficial; not leading to practical or beneficial results.

  1. not producing goods directly, as employees in charge of personnel or inspectors.

Origin of nonproductive

First recorded in 1920–25; non- + productive

Other words from nonproductive

  • non·pro·duc·tive·ly, adverb
  • non·pro·duc·tive·ness, non·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty [non-proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee, -prod-uhk-], /ˌnɒn proʊ dʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti, -prɒd ək-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nonproductive in a sentence

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

  • 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
  • It is the study of human action as productive, or non-productive, of some certain general good.

    Is Life Worth Living? | William Hurrell Mallock
  • By these means they buy cheaply, and there is no non-productive middle man to make a profit.

    A Rational Wages System | Henry Atkinson
  • And it is these same conditions which support the statement of Féré and Ellis, that he is generally a celibate and non-productive.

    A Plea for the Criminal | James Leslie Allan Kayll

British Dictionary definitions for nonproductive


/ (ˌnɒnprəˈdʌktɪv) /

  1. (of workers) not directly responsible for producing goods

  2. having disappointing results; unproductive

Derived forms of nonproductive

  • 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