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sustainability

[suh-stey-nuh-bil-i-tee]
noun
  1. the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed.
  2. Environmental Science. the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance: The committee is developing sustainability standards for products that use energy.
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Origin of sustainability

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

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Word Origin and History for sustainability

n.

1907, in reference to a legal objection, from sustainable + -ity. General sense (in economics, agriculture, ecology) by 1972.

Sustainability is defined as a requirement of our generation to manage the resource base such that the average quality of life that we ensure ourselves can potentially be shared by all future generations. ... Development is sustainable if it involves a non-decreasing average quality of life. [Geir B. Asheim, "Sustainability," The World Bank, 1994]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper