Definition of unsound in English:



  • 1Not safe or robust; in poor condition.

    ‘the tower is structurally unsound’
    • ‘The figure does not include local credit cooperatives, which are notorious for unsound lending practices.’
    • ‘It is unsettling to discover a layer of fragile, unsound rock concealed between deep strata of solid granite, but not uncommon.’
    • ‘It had walls, but the beams within were mostly rotten, the roof had gone, it was structurally unsound and the site was entirely overgrown.’
    • ‘The Asian crisis has shown the danger of free capital flows when vital information is imperfect, domestic financial systems are weak, and governments pursue unsound economic policies.’
    • ‘Charleville courthouse was deemed to be physically unsound, and its district, which straddles the county boundary, is also dealt with in Kilmallock.’
    • ‘This is the most conspicuous and direct mechanism where weak system underpinnings foster heightened asset inflation and unsound economic expansion.’
    • ‘We have also published articles about structurally unsound boat hulls, boat buying scams and faulty generators that create the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.’
    • ‘They said the wall was structurally unsound and was removed by our client, before the notice of refusal was received by our client from the Council.’
    • ‘It's hard to believe that the building inspector who charges a thousand dollars to approve a sound building wouldn't accept ten thousand dollars to approve an unsound one.’
    • ‘Ivy will not harm fired clay bricks, nor will it cause mortar to crumble unless the mortar is already unsound.’
    • ‘A new rich class enjoyed a flamboyant lifestyle, which too many people tried to copy by means of credit and stock-market speculation, within an unsound banking system.’
    • ‘What is the difference between peddling a stock or a product as having value, when in reality, insiders know what is being sold is unreliable, unsound and unworthy?’
    • ‘Any loss of euro confidence is an unwelcome blow to a global currency ‘system’ already tottering over its unsound dollar foundation.’
    • ‘East Asian networks provide mutual support and focused industrial development, but have created unsound financial systems and inflexible business conditions.’
    • ‘It was held that, on the basis of the evidence presented to the court, the project for the dam was unsound.’
    • ‘The main buildings may not be of modern design, but there was no technical evidence to show that any of them are structurally unsound or incapable of reuse, with refurbishment if necessary.’
    • ‘What happens in 50 years, when the building becomes structurally unsound, or the neighborhood changes?’
    • ‘But as regards health and safety for squatters, there's not much that can be done if the building they are occupying turns out to be dangerous or structurally unsound.’
    • ‘It was not the loss of freedom of the press, or unsound monetary policy, or costly military actions abroad, or low health expenditure - although all these factors had a negative impact.’
    • ‘Since the Liberals defeated the NDP in the last election, no work has been done to improve the Woodwards building and there is concern that it is structurally unsound.’
    rickety, flimsy, shaky, wobbly, unstable, tottery, defective, disintegrating, crumbling, decaying, broken, broken-down, damaged, rotten, ramshackle, insubstantial, jerry-built, unsafe, unreliable, dangerous
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    1. 1.1 Not healthy or well.
      ‘Dorinda was mentally unsound’
      • ‘The worst-hit were the mentally unsound women who were deserted by their kin and left on the roads to the mercy of anti-social elements.’
      • ‘Reporting psychological disorders is strongly associated with social stigma; the hospital also houses an asylum for the mentally unsound.’
      • ‘Certainly, no person in an unsound state of mind can be left on his own in the hope that the religious environs would help him regain his mental balance.’
      • ‘Kannan was born to a mentally unsound woman at Abhaya and his mother though ill, is alive.’
      • ‘Ferran and Chien Chi's works in particular present ethical challenges, regarding ethical treatment of the mentally unsound.’
      • ‘In some cases, no doubt, the exclusion of the testator's immediate family from a Will may be evidence of an unsound mind, or of lack of understanding or approval.’
      • ‘Whether or not such person forgot to have his apple a day will always be up for debate but the fact of the matter is that, yes, such perversions have to be the result of unsound mental health.’
      • ‘Brooke would not press him like this, especially when he was so unsound and strange at the moment.’
      • ‘The film revolves around Kumaran who becomes mentally unsound after learning that his son, Appu, has been grievously injured in an accident.’
      • ‘We can say with confidence that we have established homes for women and children who are mentally disabled and if you walk around this area you will see that there are no beggars, no mentally unsound or unstable people.’
      • ‘I was talking about this incident with the taxi driver on the way back to the Bloomberg bureau from covering this bomb scare at the Reuters bureau and the taxi driver didn't believe that the guy is psychologically unsound.’
      • ‘The difference between being of sound and unsound mind, while appealing to lawyers who like clear cut rules, seems to me inadequate to deal with the complexities of human psychology in the context of the stresses caused by imprisonment.’
      disordered, diseased, deranged, disturbed, troubled, demented, unstable, unbalanced, unhinged, insane, crazed, distracted
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  • 2Not based on sound or reliable evidence or reasoning.

    ‘this line of argument is unsound’
    • ‘The allegations of the judge supposedly misleading Congress or of his testimony raising ‘serious concerns’ about the judiciary strike me as unsound.’
    • ‘As I mentioned before, there are lots of interesting, plausible arguments in the gun control debates - and some that seem appealing but on close viewing prove to be just plain unsound.’
    • ‘If the theory is indeed unsound, then it's perfectly proper for the legislature to prevent the cost and risk of the litigation in the first place, rather than waiting until tens of millions of dollars are spent in various lawsuits.’
    • ‘I think that's a very poor and very methologically unsound approach.’
    • ‘Even when his conclusions are unsound he often attempts to derive them from Scriptural based premises.’
    • ‘Her Sunday column is so full of unsound argument that I just don't know where to start.’
    • ‘But to characterise this condition as synonymous with ‘deflation’ is analytically unsound.’
    • ‘Good advocacy but unsound principle, for damages are to compensate the victim not to reflect what the wrongdoer ought to pay.’
    • ‘Elsewhere the case against Antinori was that his plan was scientifically unsound and dangerous.’
    • ‘Many self-appointed experts believed that sending in the bombers at low-level was basically unsound and too dangerous.’
    • ‘Mr Pain said the police evidence was unsound: ‘It's all innuendo and unsubstantiated intelligence given by people who clearly have an axe to grind.’’
    • ‘The ‘moral age of consent’ argument is indeed a plausible one, though one that I think on balance is unsound.’
    • ‘The evidence that I checked, though, seems to be highly unsound.’
    • ‘Too often, authorities say, the science is unproven, the analyses unsound, and the experts unreliable.’
    • ‘You couldn't make a more unsound legal statement than the one you have just made.’
    • ‘Counsel also made submissions as to why the reasons for decision were arguably either sound or unsound.’
    • ‘Treating this as something much more than it is strikes me as unsound, and likely to undermine the attention given to serious civil liberties complaints in other cases.’
    • ‘Many people believe the conviction was based on unsound evidence.’
    • ‘But the principle itself is not wholly unsound.’
    • ‘The one quote that strikes me as quite unsound is the one at the very end, though of course it's always impossible to tell if some relevant context might have been inadvertently cut in the editing.’
    • ‘I thought the fundamental premise of this article was unsound.’
    untenable, flawed, defective, faulty, ill-founded, flimsy, weak, shaky, unreliable, questionable, dubious, tenuous, suspect, illogical, irrational, unfounded, ungrounded, unsubstantiated, unsupported, specious, hollow, spurious, false, fallacious, fallible, erroneous, wrong, sophistic, casuistic
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    1. 2.1 Not acceptable.
      ‘activities deemed to be environmentally unsound’
      • ‘At the beginning of World War II, the common belief was that air evacuation of the sick and wounded was dangerous, medically unsound, and militarily impossible.’
      • ‘According to Jansen, the defences raised by the state were based on a constitutionally unsound morality which disguised itself behind the armour of public health and social malaise arguments.’
      • ‘The office, headed by soon-to-retire Ombudsman Kevin Murphy, provides redress for citizens who believe they were adversely affected by the improper, unfair or unsound activities of public bodies.’
      • ‘Also, some tour companies run ecologically unsound and even dangerous tours at high prices.’
      • ‘In the US there are proposals to put a tax on foods that are nutritionally unsound and use the money to promote healthy food choices.’
      • ‘Although I enjoy the stir, one does feel a tad self-conscious wearing an item of clothing which is the epitome of ideologically unsound apparel.’
      • ‘Since a powerful influence on a professional's practice is the early socialisation by other professionals in the workplace, it is clear that ethically unsound practices can easily be perpetuated.’
      • ‘Habitat degradation, facilitated largely through increased siltation due to unsound land use practices needs to be further curtailed.’
      • ‘Despite the growing evidence from researchers and environmental organisations, fish farming industries continue to deny that their practices are environmentally unsound.’
      • ‘First, the supervision system should be designed to detect illegality and unsound practices and to provide early warning of potential failure.’
      • ‘The sector, which has emerged as the most lucrative and thriving, was however gradually venturing into unorthodox and economically unsound practices.’
      • ‘Lecturing is rejected as an unsound practice because it wrongly assumes that the teacher holds some authority.’
      • ‘Vinyl siding is especially reviled, as it is, after all, plastic, and the worst plastic of all (environmentally unsound PVC).’
      • ‘These are the countries that produce mounting surpluses of wheat, rice, corn, soybean, sugar beat, cotton, and that too under environmentally unsound conditions leading to an ecological catastrophe.’
      • ‘The key to a sustainable approach is to include ecology in the development process rather than compensating with expensive and environmentally unsound engineered practices.’
      • ‘Part of the problem is that people continue to build golf courses based on unsound practices, putting pleasure and prestige ahead of good business sense.’
      • ‘When ministers are accused of unsound labour practices, it is made out as lies.’
      • ‘Thus far, we have placed considerable focus on money in this forum, as it is our contention that our monetary system has spun out of control and is being poisoned by unsound practices.’
      • ‘In any event, I'm not certain that these particular recycling programs are unsound - perhaps they are, and the environmental and other benefits do exceed the environmental and other costs.’
      • ‘Indeed, there are already those who argue that the current crisis is simply a necessary condition for the next phase of growth; that what we are seeing is a purging of bad debts, unwise investments and unsound business practices.’
      • ‘As perhaps only one in ten survive the transport, the practice is ethically unsound, to say the least.’
    2. 2.2 (of a person) not holding acceptable views.
      • ‘They are philosophically unsound because both right and left identify a highly determinate set of rights whether they be basic freedoms or property rights, and postulate that they dovetail in an harmonious set.’
      • ‘I am now convinced that although he is unsound in his views there are not sufficient grounds for proceeding against him.’
      • ‘A liberal would also find him unsound on the death penalty.’
      • ‘My neighbour was notoriously unsound politically and had been through hard times after being purged in 1948 from the Czech news agency.’


  • of unsound mind

    • Insane.

      • ‘It may be subject to legitimate restrictions, for example, statutory limitation periods, security for costs orders, regulations concerning minors and persons of unsound mind.’
      • ‘The judge in this case indicated that, in order for the detention of a person of unsound mind to be lawful under article 5 e, the following minimum criteria must be satisfied.’
      • ‘Despite carrying a return train ticket in his pocket, it was concluded that Druitt committed suicide ‘whilst of unsound mind.’’
      • ‘You could contest his will on the grounds that he was of unsound mind or that he was acting under the undue influence of his girlfriend.’
      • ‘Or he may be of unsound mind, with the result that he is at risk of doing something to himself which no rational person would do as he would appreciate that to do this would inevitably lead to injury.’
      • ‘He asked the jury to bring in a verdict to the effect that she was of unsound mind at the time of the commission of the offence.’
      • ‘Five doctors, none of whom had examined her recently, agreed that she was of unsound mind.’
      • ‘California law grants an annulment when either party in the marriage is under 18, of unsound mind, bound to a previous marriage or if the consent to marry was obtained by fraud or force.’
      • ‘A person is under a disability while he is an infant or of unsound mind.’
      • ‘The second important exception to the three-year period concerns injuries suffered by children and those of unsound mind.’
      severely mentally ill, mentally ill, insane, mad, certifiable, deranged, demented, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, not together, crazed, maniac, maniacal, lunatic, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, stark mad, manic, frenzied, raving, distraught, frantic, hysterical, delirious, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare
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