Insalubrious is a formal way to say something is bad for your health. Whether it’s the smog in the city, the atmosphere at your workplace, or a load of coal tar — they all sound insalubrious.

  • Pronunciation: /,ɪnsə'lubrɪəs/
  • English Description: detrimental to physical or moral well-being
  • Synonyms: unhealthy
  • Chinese Translation: 不健康的(Bu2 jian4 kang4 de)
  • Spanish Translation: insalubre
  • ORIGIN: The word insalubrious came into English in the seventeenth century from the Latin word insalubris, a combination of in-, meaning "not," and salubris, meaning "healthful." That makes for a decidedly unhealthy combination, and the word even has a slightly disreputable sound to it, like you’ve been out doing something you shouldn’t be doing. But at the same time it’s slightly formal, in part because it’s somewhat unusual in modern usage. Use it as a fancy way to describe something unhealthy that’s also a little bit common — like Las Vegas or fried chicken.


  • In insalubrious micro-venues, however, even newer bands from lower down the food chain are carrying on, enriching the humus that nourishes the ecosystem.
  • There were more cinemas then, many of them in side streets, delightfully insalubrious and, unlike movie houses today, they all had an individual character.

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