Definition of unproductive in English:



  • 1Not producing or able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities.

    ‘unproductive land must be reforested’
    • ‘Since 1985 hundreds of thousands of peasants have taken it upon themselves to carry out land reform by occupying unproductive land.’
    • ‘The American military initially found the South as a convenient locale of large amounts of unproductive land that could be converted into training facilities.’
    • ‘They occupied the land and the New Zealand Government allocated only some rather unproductive land to the Moriori.’
    • ‘Logging concessions are stimulated by the wrong incentives: it is more lucrative to clear forestland for plantations than to plant on open and unproductive land.’
    • ‘Some government planners anticipate a policy that encourages people to vacate marginal or unproductive land, with the possible end of food assistance as one inducement to relocation.’
    • ‘I am particularly concerned with the new costs associated with road enclosure permits, especially when these areas of land are often unproductive.’
    • ‘In fact, the unproductive vast amount of agricultural set-aside land could be used to grow oil-seed rape to feed all types of engines.’
    • ‘There are areas on which there are tracts of land which are quite unproductive and which could easily be acquired for plantation with suitable trees.’
    • ‘Farmers simply saw the marsh as unproductive land that could be used for grazing animals.’
    sterile, barren, infertile, uncultivatable, unfruitful, poor, lifeless, lean, arid
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    1. 1.1(of an activity or period) not achieving much; not very useful.
      ‘unproductive meetings’
      • ‘In fact all Mayo could manage while assisted by the wind in the second half was three points, the third one by Cora Staunton in the 55th minute to end an unproductive period of fourteen minutes.’
      • ‘It is high time the Government worked out an appropriate strategy to divert such investment from unproductive ventures like shebeens to more productive areas.’
      • ‘What could be a nicer way to spend an idle day - and being career leftists, it is safe to assume most of their days are unproductive - than preening and posturing in the dock while reporters take down their every egomaniacal word?’
      • ‘These have been some really unproductive years for me.’
      • ‘Completely wasted my entire day in unproductive activity and left the blasted cluster room hours later seething with frustration and disgust.’
      • ‘However, the process was unproductive and Avril was not satisfied with the songs because they did not feel right.’
      • ‘We get to the office full of high resolve, only to watch the minutes and hours dribble away in unproductive activity.’
      • ‘When a research program is unproductive for a long period it suggests that something may be wrong with the questions being asked or the methods being used.’
      • ‘You rarely waste energies on unproductive activities.’
      • ‘And the unproductive periods do seem to correlate somewhat with gloomier moods.’
      • ‘We don't need to account for money/time lost on other unproductive activities - we are only monitoring spam's impact.’
      • ‘Our foreign policy in this regard is very clear and we wonder why some rich nations decide to waste their huge resources on unproductive ventures.’
      • ‘Our tax systems need to encourage voluntary compliance, provide efficient service to the taxpayers, eliminate unproductive work and enhance efficiency.’
      • ‘Taxpayer's money must be spent in the best interest of the citizens in order to satisfy their basic needs, and not on unproductive projects.’
      • ‘There is also evidence of departure from the traditional approach to job design and the attempted elimination of unproductive activities from job specifications.’
      • ‘Of course, not all unproductive activities funded by surplus value are necessarily wasteful or parasitic.’
      • ‘Or, more often, we go about each in an unproductive way.’
      • ‘He went on to explain that the previous bubble was caused by borrowing low-cost capital for investment in unproductive activities, particularly for speculative purposes.’
      • ‘India faced some hurdles - low PC penetration, the possibility of piracy and the general perception of games as an unproductive activity.’
      • ‘It seems somewhat bizarre but when I really think about it, not unusual from Labour - that it would want us to encourage unproductive activity but discourage productive activity.’
      fruitless, futile, vain, idle, useless, worthless, valueless, pointless, ineffective, ineffectual, to no effect, impotent, inefficacious, unprofitable, unremunerative, unrewarding
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