from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not yielding or producing: nonproductive land.
  • adj. Not engaged in the direct production of goods: nonproductive personnel.
  • n. A person who produces no useful work.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not productive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. not directly productive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Lacking the power of producing; not fertile.
  • Unproductive financially; not yielding revenue; unprofitable, as a mine or a farm.
  • In political economics, not causing or tending to cause an increase in the quantity or quality of things of value; not causing commodities to possess exchangeable value: as, non-productive labor.
  • n. A person or industry that does not cause an increase in the quantity, quality, or exchangeable value of commodities.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not directly productive


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

non- +‎ productive


  • IHS Global Insight economist Brian Bethune calls it the gold trap: Investors are parking their funds in nonproductive assets like gold that undermine the Fed 's efforts to simulate activity.


  • And if they are focusing on things that are nonproductive, which is what they're doing now, then, you know, Madeleine is somewhere.

    CNN Transcript Sep 7, 2007

  • "We're hoping to encourage changes in roadside management practices, how public lands are managed and how people are managing what they would call nonproductive land or marginal land that they might own."


  • These have not had measurable success in the past and do not address the complexities of the present problem: a shrinking and inadequately educated workforce, coupled with a rapidly growing "nonproductive" older population, a persistent and intractable high school dropout rate, and the skyrocketing cost of higher education.

    Bernard Starr: How Seniors can save American Education and the Economy

  • But as long as the selection of "nonproductive" employees is performance-based, we avoid major morale hits.

    Tom Doctoroff: China vs. Japan: Two Cultures, Two Responses to Crisis

  • The Kremlin also spent less and less on its "nonproductive" health system, which was one reason for a remarkable trend revealed by Western demographers: in the 1970s the Soviet Union became the first industrialized country in the world to experience rising infant mortality and declining life expectancy.

    A Callous View Of Human Life

  • He isn't in jail, of course; Mars can't afford that kind of nonproductive luxury.

    Tales of Ten Worlds

  • Last session, lawmakers changed the Green Acres law so land considered "nonproductive" no longer qualifies. - MORE NEWS

  • The insurance/pharma/HMO/home healthcare intermediaries in different ways enjoy completely inefficient and nonproductive subsidies.

    Matthew Yglesias » Insurers vs Insurance Reform

  • Their universities fed graduates into a nonproductive but high-benefit public economy.

    Is Egypt Hopeless?


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