[ ri-noo, -nyoo ]
/ rɪˈnu, -ˈnyu /


able to be renewed: a library book that is not renewable.


something that is renewable.

Origin of renewable

First recorded in 1720–30; renew + -able


re·new·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·re·new·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·new·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for nonrenewable

/ (ˌnɒnrɪˈnjuːəbəl) /


not able to be restored, replaced, recommenced, etcnonrenewable resources
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

Science definitions for nonrenewable (1 of 2)

[ nŏn′rĭ-nōōə-bəl ]

Relating to a natural resource, such as petroleum or a mineral ore, that cannot be replaced once it has been extracted or procured. Nonrenewable resources that are not significantly altered by their use, including most metals, can often be recovered and their usefulness extended by recycling. Compare renewable.

Science definitions for nonrenewable (2 of 2)

[ rĭ-nōōə-bəl ]

Relating to a natural resource, such as solar energy, water, or wood, that is never used up or that can be replaced by new growth. Resources that are dependent on regrowth can sometimes be depleted beyond the point of renewability, as when the deforestation of land leads to desertification or when a commercially valuable species is harvested to extinction. Pollution can also make a renewable resource such as water unusable in a particular location. Compare nonrenewable.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.