noun, often attributive
\ ˈhelth also ˈheltth How to pronounce health (audio) \

Definition of health

1a : the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit She is the picture of health. especially : freedom from physical disease or pain nursed them back to health
b : the general condition of the body How is your mother's health? in poor health enjoys good health
2a : a condition in which someone or something is thriving or doing well : well-being defending the health of the beloved oceans— Peter Wilkinson
b : general condition or state poor economic health
3 : a toast to someone's health or prosperity

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Examples of health in a Sentence

We nursed him back to health. He's in good health these days. He has continued to enjoy good health in his old age. Smoking is bad for your health. He is concerned about his sister's mental health. We must protect the health of our oceans. The economy is in a period of robust financial health. Investors are worried about the company's health.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For years, there has been no known cure for HIV, the life-long viral infection that attacks the body's immune system and can have significant health consequences. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "HIV diagnoses in the UK fall to lowest level in nearly 20 years," 5 Sep. 2019 Social scientists and public-health researchers have begun to dig into these records and have produced more than 50 publications so far—up from a trickle of papers on the topic before 2015. Lynne Peeples, Scientific American, "What the Data Say about Police Shootings," 5 Sep. 2019 That has yet to happen because, amid the wait, Milligan’s health deteriorated. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Starving seniors: America is failing to feed its aging citizens, which is costly to them and to everyone else," 5 Sep. 2019 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local state health agencies, and the Food and Drug Administration are scrambling for answers. Wired, "Vaping May Hamper the Lungs' Ability to Fend off Infections," 4 Sep. 2019 The stress of finding and holding onto housing in the county’s tight market can be detrimental to mental and physical health. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Five members of the same family among those presumed dead in boat fire," 4 Sep. 2019 Six additional trees along Marine Avenue that appear distressed will undergo advanced stability and health testing, and long-empty patches along the cozy boulevard of mom-and-pop shops and cafes will promptly be refilled with young eucalyptuses. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Removal coming for some Balboa Island trees, testing for others," 4 Sep. 2019 Perhaps the most worrisome aspect is that the impact of microplastics on human health remains unclear. Tony Briscoe,, "22 million pounds of plastics enter the Great Lakes each year. Most of the pollution pours into Lake Michigan.," 4 Sep. 2019 The participants, who were predominantly white and single, answered a series of questions and got tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia at the university’s health clinic. Kaitlin Sullivan, NBC News, "'Extreme' personal grooming isn't linked to increased risk of STIs," 4 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'health.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of health

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for health

Middle English helthe, from Old English hǣlth, from hāl

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Statistics for health

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for health

The first known use of health was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for health



English Language Learners Definition of health

: the condition of being well or free from disease
: the overall condition of someone's body or mind
: the condition or state of something


\ ˈhelth How to pronounce health (audio) \

Kids Definition of health

1 : the condition of being free from illness or disease
2 : the overall condition of the body He is in good health.


noun, often attributive
\ ˈhelth How to pronounce health (audio) \

Medical Definition of health

1 : the condition of an organism or one of its parts in which it performs its vital functions normally or properly : the state of being sound in body or mind dental health mental health especially : freedom from physical disease and pain nursed him back to health — compare disease
2 : the condition of an organism with respect to the performance of its vital functions especially as evaluated subjectively or nonprofessionally how is your health today

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More from Merriam-Webster on health

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with health

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for health

Spanish Central: Translation of health

Nglish: Translation of health for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of health for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about health

Comments on health

What made you want to look up health? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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