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See more synonyms for unsanitary on Thesaurus.com
  1. not sanitary; unhealthy or unhealthful; tending to harbor or spread disease: unsanitary living conditions.
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Origin of unsanitary

First recorded in 1870–75; un-1 + sanitary
Related formsun·san·i·tar·i·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unsanitary

filthy, unhealthy, contaminated, unhealthful, dusty, foul, grimy, messy, muddy, rancid, rank, rotten, sloppy, stinking, soiled, polluted, sullied, unhygienic

Examples from the Web for unsanitary

Contemporary Examples of unsanitary

Historical Examples of unsanitary

  • "But that would be unsanitary," piped a voice from the back of the room.

  • I am sure it is not necessary to tell you that such filth is unsanitary.

    The Dude Wrangler

    Caroline Lockhart

  • It was an unsanitary practice, but he had to admit that the patient was much improved.

    Bolden's Pets

    F. L. Wallace

  • They were clothed in rags and their dwellings were both miserable and unsanitary.

    Patrician and Plebeian

    Thomas J. Wertenbaker

  • The pipes and drains were unsanitary, and the air was bad to breathe.

British Dictionary definitions for unsanitary


  1. not conducive to or promoting health; dirty or unhygienic
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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 unsanitary


1871, from un- (1) "not" + sanitary.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unsanitary in Medicine


  1. Not sanitary.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.