• synonyms


See more synonyms for nonproductive on Thesaurus.com
  1. not productive; unproductive.
  2. not worthwhile or beneficial; not leading to practical or beneficial results.
  3. not producing goods directly, as employees in charge of personnel or inspectors.
Show More

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nonproductive

sterile, impotent, barren, drained, effete, exhausted, impoverished, unfruitful, unproductive, infecund, nonproductive, unbearing, fruitless, infertile

Examples from the Web for nonproductive

Historical Examples of nonproductive

  • Besides the overhead of slaves and nonproductive brewers, the establishment required the services of two coopers at 20 per year.

    The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia

    C. Malcolm Watkins

  • They are classed as nonproductive workers, therefore their salary scales are lower than those for productive workers.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria

    Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

British Dictionary definitions for nonproductive


  1. (of workers) not directly responsible for producing goods
  2. having disappointing results; unproductive
Show More
Derived Formsnonproductiveness, nounnonproductivity (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