[ 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

Words Nearby nonproductive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nonproductive in a sentence

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

  • 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


/ (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