[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. nonpracticing,
  2. nonpractising,
  3. nonprescription,
  4. nonprint,
  5. nonpro,
  6. nonprofessional,
  7. nonproficiency,
  8. nonprofit,
  9. nonproliferation,
  10. nonproliferation treaty

Origin of nonproductive

First recorded in 1920–25; non- + productive

Related formsnon·pro·duc·tive·ly, adverbnon·pro·duc·tive·ness, non·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty [non-proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee, -prod-uh k-] /ˌnɒn proʊ dʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti, -prɒd ək-/, noun


[ proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee, prod-uhk‐ ]
/ ˌproʊ dʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti, ˌprɒd ʌk‐ /


the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services: The productivity of the group's effort surprised everyone.
Economics. the rate at which goods and services having exchange value are brought forth or produced: Productivity increased dramatically last year.
Grammar. the ability to form new words using established patterns and discrete linguistic elements, as the derivational affixes -ness and -ity.
Related formsan·ti·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty, adjective, nounnon·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty, nounsem·i·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty, nounun·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for non-productivity

  • The economic loss through the non-productivity of 20,000 drunkards is equal to one Chicago fire involving two hundred millions.

    A Man's Value to Society|Newell Dwight Hillis
  • As far as his art creations show, this was a period of non-productivity.

    Wagner as I Knew Him|Ferdinand Christian Wilhelm Praeger

British Dictionary definitions for non-productivity


/ (ˌnɒnprəˈdʌktɪv) /


(of workers) not directly responsible for producing goods
having disappointing results; unproductive
Derived Formsnonproductiveness, nounnonproductivity (ˌnɒnprɒdʌkˈtɪvɪtɪ), noun


/ (ˌprɒdʌkˈtɪvɪtɪ) /


the output of an industrial concern in relation to the materials, labour, etc, it employs
the state of being productive
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

Word Origin and History for non-productivity



1809, "quality of being productive," from productive + -ity. An earlier word for this was productiveness (1727). Economic sense of "rate of output per unit" is from 1899.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for non-productivity


In business, a measure of worker efficiency, such as one hundred units per hour. In economics, involvement in the creation of goods and services to produce wealth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.