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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

Examples from the Web for unsanitary

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "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.