Definition of unsubstantial in US English:



  • Having little or no solidity, reality, or factual basis.

    ‘a pretty if unsubstantial cubist composition’
    • ‘When I was in Bombay, I read the TOI and for me, what it gives is not news: I found the newspaper unsubstantial and slightly frivolous.’
    • ‘It is also refers to unsubstantial talk or writing.’
    • ‘Public opinion has also been critical of the Annual Session and its unsubstantial agenda.’
    • ‘Cute, no doubt, but fairly unsubstantial, considering this small feature is the only content that directly relates to the film itself on the DVD.’
    • ‘A film director, according to this thinking, selects a ‘challenging’ work out of a box from which he or she might just as well choose something frothy and unsubstantial.’
    • ‘Their sound has become insipid and unsubstantial.’
    • ‘Yet, it would be easy to dismiss this collection of poetic blues/folk for something totally unsubstantial.’
    • ‘Reality in this world seemed so strange, inconsistent and unsubstantial to him as he felt confusion welling inside him.’
    • ‘I think she's like her husband in that she can absorb a lot of information and then come through with very glib unsubstantial notions that don't work.’
    • ‘It would seem therefore with the new visa policy, Indonesia is likely to lose the majority of my annual spending; not a lot individually but I am sure there are many others in similar situations and the total loss will not be unsubstantial.’
    • ‘Occassionally the formula slips into pure atmosphere and unsubstantial blur, but on the bulk of the tracks this is a slow-swinging, quietly edgy experiment from a multi-talented fusioneer.’
    • ‘In comparison, I seemed small and unsubstantial.’
    • ‘Not only were the figures’ words vague but they were also unsubstantial, confusing and pointless.’
    • ‘We throw around concepts, but often our thoughts are vague and unsubstantial.’
    • ‘It's a waste of calories in an unsubstantial meal.’
    • ‘I quite agree, except I chose to hide behind my facade of dyed hair and unnatural lashes while pretending to not understand and therefore was spared the embarrassment of giving my unsubstantial opinions.’
    • ‘This scenario was as unsubstantial as most of the claims made by campaign groups about the potential danger that anthrax could be easily used as a bio-weapon.’
    • ‘Shaw was often criticized for writing plays full of unsubstantial, if witty, banter.’
    • ‘It is precisely this form of unsubstantial surface democracy of neoliberal politics that the author the original article attempts to point toward.’
    • ‘Absolutely and there was a not unsubstantial minority within the party that felt that this was nothing that the Greens should have accepted and should have agreed to, and they felt betrayed by their leadership.’
    unreal, non-existent, fictional, fictitious, pretend, make-believe, mythical, mythological, legendary, storybook, fanciful, fantastic
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