not sanitary; unhealthy or unhealthful; tending to harbor or spread disease: unsanitary living conditions.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for unsanitary

Contemporary Examples of unsanitary

  • The majority of the early cases were traced back to unsanitary needles.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Original Ebola Hunter

    Abby Haglage

    September 14, 2014

  • And many parents prefer not to bring small children to the gloomy and often unsanitary hotels near the colonies.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Inside the Pussy Rioters’ Russian Prisons

    Anna Nemtsova

    October 24, 2012

  • The camp now is now an unsanitary eyesore, strewn with garbage, drug paraphernalia, and rats looking for leftovers.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Occupy Turns Sinister

    K.J. Kaila

    November 7, 2011

  • For the past decade or so, curly hair has somehow signified insanity, or worse yet, implied that you were unsanitary.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Ease of Frizz

    Renata Espinosa

    May 20, 2009

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



not conducive to or promoting health; dirty or unhygienic
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unsanitary in Medicine




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