adjective, un·health·i·er, un·health·i·est.

not in a state of good or normal health; in an unsound, weak, or morbid condition.
symptomatic of or resulting from bad health: an unhealthy pallor.
not conducive to good health; unhealthful: Night air was formerly considered unhealthy.
morally bad, harmful, or contaminating: unhealthy examples for the young.
dangerous; risky: Asking questions in this neighborhood can be unhealthy.

Origin of unhealthy

First recorded in 1585–95; un-1 + healthy
Related formsun·health·i·ly, adverbun·health·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for unhealthy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unhealthily

Contemporary Examples of unhealthily

Historical Examples of unhealthily

  • They feed pretty largely but unhealthily, and eat pieces at lunch-time.

    New Worlds For Old

    Herbert George Wells

  • Or it drives him unhealthily outward, quickening the wish for mere stimulants and excitements of mind and interest.

    To My Younger Brethren

    Handley C. G. Moule

  • Long dwelling upon its power made them unduly and unhealthily conscious of its presence.

    Religion & Sex

    Chapman Cohen

  • The poor of the Western prairies lie almost as unhealthily close together as do the poor of the city tenements.

  • Next to him sat Batley, looking thoughtful; and Crestwick sat opposite Lisle, eager and unhealthily flushed.

    The Long Portage

    Harold Bindloss

British Dictionary definitions for unhealthily


adjective -healthier or -healthiest

characterized by ill-health; sick; unwell
characteristic of, conducive to, or resulting from ill-healthan unhealthy complexion; an unhealthy atmosphere
morbid or unwholesome
informal dangerous; risky
Derived Formsunhealthily, adverbunhealthiness, 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

Word Origin and History for unhealthily



1590s, "injurious to health," from un- (1) "not" + healthy. Earlier unhealthsome (1540s), unhealthful (1570s). Of persons, "sickly," it is attested from 1610s. Related: Unhealthily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper