Definition of heath
1a : a tract of wastelandb : an extensive area of rather level open uncultivated land usually with poor coarse soil, inferior drainage, and a surface rich in peat or peaty humus
2a : any of a family (Ericaceae, the heath family) of shrubby dicotyledonous and often evergreen plants that thrive on open barren usually acid and ill-drained soil; especially : an evergreen subshrub of either of two genera (Erica and Calluna) with whorls of needlelike leaves and clusters of small flowersb : any of various plants that resemble true heaths
heathlessplay \ˈhēth-ləs\ adjective
heathlikeplay \ˈhēth-ˌlīk\ adjective
heathyplay \ˈhē-thē\ adjective
Examples of heath in a Sentence
not much grows on the heath besides heather
drove through a vast, empty heath that seemingly had no end
Recent Examples of heath from the Web
CBO’s reminder yesterday that the 2015 bill would cost 32 million Americans their heath coverage while doubling premiums in the individual market makes passage of that legislation less likely than ever.
Senate Republicans left for the July 4 holiday after failing to hold a vote on Republican heath-care legislation.
No doubt heath care is dominating lawmakers’ time back in their districts.
A delay in the heath care vote -- or, more accurately at the moment, a delay in a decision not to hold a vote -- will likely accomplish very little other than to block up any and all other legislative action on matters not related to health care.
Tsygankova had been ordered in late October to a state mental heath facility after being deemed incompetent to stand trial.
Calls and murmurs of birds fill the air scented with native cordgrass, marsh gumplant, and alkali heath, all planted and naturalized in the 10 years since these salt ponds were opened to the bay.
With our letter, 27 Pennsylvania heath care organizations spoke with one voice to Senators Toomey and Casey.
Dental heath, allergies, skin disease, orthopedic health, cancer prevention …
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heath.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What Do pagan and heathen Really Mean?
Pagan is derived from the Late Latin paganus, which was used at the end of the Roman Empire to name those who practiced a religion other than Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Early Christians often used the term to refer to non-Christians who worshiped multiple deities. In Latin, paganus originally meant “country dweller” or “civilian;” it is believed that the word’s religious meanings developed either from the enduring non-Christian religious practices of those who lived far from the Roman cities where Christianity was more quickly adopted, or from the fact that early Christians referred to themselves as “soldiers of Christ,” making nonbelievers “civilians.”
The definition and etymology of heathen overlap with those of pagan: both words denote “an unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible,” and heathen, like pagan, is believed to have come from the term for a country inhabitant, or in this case, a "heath dweller."
Both words have developed broader and pejorative meanings over time, with pagan being used to mean “an irreligious or hedonistic person” and heathen “uncivilized” or “strange,” but their original meanings are still in use.
Origin and Etymology of heath
Middle English heth, from Old English hǣth; akin to Old High German heida heather, Old Welsh coit forest
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of Heath
Sir Edward (Richard George) 1916–2005 British prime minister (1970–74)
HEATH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of heath for English Language Learners
: an area of land that is covered with grass and small shrubs
HEATH Defined for Kids
Definition of heath for Students
1 : a low, woody, and often evergreen plant that grows chiefly on poor wet soil
2 : a usually open level area of land on which heaths can grow
Seen and Heard
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