unwholesome

unwholesome
unwholesome, morbid, sickly, diseased, pathological apply to what is unhealthy or unhealthful in any of various ways.
Unwholesome is applicable not only to what is not healthy or healthful physically and mentally but also to what is morally corruptive
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sick at heart, and enfeebled by unwholesome diet— Bancroft

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unwholesome surroundings in which to bring up children

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an aura ... of unwholesome cleverness— J. V. Baker

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an unwholesome influence

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Morbid, in the sense of showing the effects of disease, is somewhat old-fashioned
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a morbid condition of the liver

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morbid tissue

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The term is more often descriptive of a physical, emotional, mental, or social condition or of fancies, feelings, or behavior that are abnormal or are a sign of abnormality (as derangement, decadence, or deterioration)
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displayed a morbid interest in the gruesome details of the accident

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in this vision . . . there is something of morbid suspicion— Edmund Wilson

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her thoughts had been more and more preoccupied with death, and with her morbid shame lest someone see her in the state of nature after she was dead— Wolfe

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but one feels gradually creeping on . . . the morbid excitement of the high-tensioned life around her— Ellis

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Sickly, more than any of these words, implies the appearance of weakness or wanness characteristic of poor health, or an inherent lack of robustness or virility; it applies not only to persons but to animals and to plants, not only to bodies but to minds and souls, not only to thoughts, feelings, and behavior, but to objective things (as colors, odors, or lights) that suggest the quality or character of a person weakened or wasted by disease (sickly children)
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a sickly plant

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a pallor that gave his dark skin a sickly look— Hervey

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the chronic habits of the sickly soul— Crabbe

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Diseased applies not only to something (as a part or an organism) that is attacked by disease, but, like morbid, is often extended to whatever is deranged, disordered, dying, or abnormal
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a diseased skin

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canst thou not minister to a mind diseased?— Shak.

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when love grows diseased, the best thing we can do is to put it to a violent death— Etherege

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Pathological is applied to physical, mental, and moral conditions which have their origin in disease or which constitute gross deviations from the usual, expected, or normal, and, by implication, the wholesome
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enormously sensitive and resilient, almost pathological in his appetite for activity— Mencken

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the beguiling Alice-world of pathological curves, some of which bound a small finite area and yet are infinite in length, while others entirely fill squares, cubes, and hypercubes, and some cross themselves at all points— Gridgeman

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this irrational age, governed by absolute violence and pathological hate— Mumford

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Analogous words: detrimental, deleterious, noxious, *pernicious, baneful: toxic, *poisonous: injurious, hurtful, harmful, mischievous (see corresponding nouns at INJURY)
Antonyms: wholesome
Contrasted words: *healthful, salubrious, salutary, hygienic: *healthy, robust, sound

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • unwholesome — index detrimental, harmful, immoral, insalubrious, noxious, obnoxious, obscene, peccant (unhealthy) …   Law dictionary

  • unwholesome — c.1200, from UN (Cf. un ) (1) not + WHOLESOME (Cf. wholesome). Cf. Flem. onheylsaem, Ger. unheilsam, O.N. uheilsamr …   Etymology dictionary

  • unwholesome — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ not wholesome …   English terms dictionary

  • unwholesome — [unhōl′səm] adj. [ME unholsom] not wholesome; specif., a) harmful to body or mind; unhealthful b) having unsound health or an unhealthy appearance c) morally harmful or corrupt unwholesomely adv. unwholesomeness n …   English World dictionary

  • unwholesome — adjective Date: 13th century 1. detrimental to physical, mental, or moral well being ; unhealthy < unwholesome food > < unwholesome pastimes > 2. a. corrupt, unsound < shady unwholesome dealings > b …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • unwholesome — [[t]ʌ̱nho͟ʊlsəm[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Unwholesome food or drink is not healthy or good for you. The fish were unwholesome and old. Syn: unhealthy 2) ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone s feelings or behaviour as unwholesome, you are… …   English dictionary

  • unwholesome — unwholesomely, adv. unwholesomeness, n. /un hohl seuhm/, adj. 1. not wholesome; unhealthful; deleterious to health or physical or moral well being: unwholesome food; unwholesome activities. 2. not sound in health; unhealthy, esp. in appearance;… …   Universalium

  • unwholesome — adjective a) Not wholesome; unfavorable to health; insalubrious; unhealthy; as, unwholesome air; unwholesome food. b) Not sound; diseased; tainted; …   Wiktionary

  • unwholesome — I (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. unhealthful, baneful, insalubrious, toxic, poisonous, contaminated, nauseous, destructive, harmful, deleterious, pernicious, unnutritious, noxious, septic, pestilent, contagious, dangerous, lethal, venomous, envenomed,… …   English dictionary for students

  • unwholesome — un|whole|some [ ʌn houlsəm ] adjective 1. ) not healthy: an unwholesome environment 2. ) slightly unpleasant and making you feel uncomfortable or nervous …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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