hy·​giene | \ˈhī-ˌjēn also hī-ˈjēn \

Definition of hygiene 

1 : a science of the establishment and maintenance of health

2 : conditions or practices (as of cleanliness) conducive to health has poor personal hygiene Brushing your teeth regularly is an important part of good oral hygiene.

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Other Words from hygiene

hygienist \hī-​ˈjē-​nist, ˈhī-​ˌjē-​, hī-​ˈje-​ \ noun

Examples of hygiene in a Sentence

Poor sanitation and hygiene caused many of the soldiers to get sick. He has very poor personal hygiene. Brushing your teeth regularly is an important part of good dental hygiene.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Mainly through poor personal hygiene and poor sanitary conditions. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "What you should know about hepatitis A and the outbreak in Louisville," 10 May 2018 Borden suggests that shortening the time between inspections would keep restaurants from growing lax with hygiene. Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Yelp’s food-safety alerts steer diners away from dirty restaurants, but also spark controversy," 8 Mar. 2018 With a spray regimen of all three - used in conjunction with good hygiene and pruning practices - most fruit tree problems can be nipped in the bud, according to Renquist. Kym Pokorny, OregonLive.com, "Winter is the time to get ahead of fruit tree problems," 7 Feb. 2018 On top of that, lifestyle factors, including stress, obesity, heavy alcohol drinking, and poor hygiene, can all weaken your immune response and lead to more frequent infections, Dr. Boffetta notes. Jacqueline Andriakos, Health.com, "I Sleep Well, Eat Healthy, and Exercise. So Why Am I Always Getting Sick?," 18 Jan. 2018 Specifically, toilets that improve hygiene, don’t have to connect to sewage systems at all and can break down human waste into fertilizer. Sui-lee Wee, The Seattle Times, "Bill Gates encourages the world to build a better toilet," 6 Nov. 2018 Instead, most are cultural steps toward better cyber-hygiene, like choosing strong passwords, using two-factor authentication, and emphasizing vigilance. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 This oddball—nicknamed Valetudo for the Roman goddess of health and hygiene, one of Jupiter's great-granddaughters—is possibly Jupiter's smallest moon, less than a kilometer in diameter. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "12 New Moons of Jupiter Discovered," 17 July 2018 Along with supporting surveillance and contact tracing efforts, the Red Cross has provided support for food, clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Detective work, cultural awareness are key to fighting Ebola," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hygiene.' 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 hygiene

1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hygiene

French hygiène & New Latin hygieina, from Greek, neuter plural of hygieinos healthful, from hygiēs healthy; akin to Sanskrit su well and to Latin vivus living — more at quick entry 1

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Statistics for hygiene

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hygiene

The first known use of hygiene was in 1671

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English Language Learners Definition of hygiene

: the things that you do to keep yourself and your surroundings clean in order to maintain good health


hy·​giene | \ˈhī-ˌjēn \

Kids Definition of hygiene

1 : a science that deals with the bringing about and keeping up of good health

2 : conditions or practices (as of cleanliness) necessary for health He has good personal hygiene.


hy·​giene | \ˈhī-ˌjēn also hī-ˈ\

Medical Definition of hygiene 

1 : a science of the establishment and maintenance of health — see industrial hygiene, mental hygiene

2 : conditions or practices (as of cleanliness) conducive to health

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More from Merriam-Webster on hygiene

Spanish Central: Translation of hygiene

Nglish: Translation of hygiene for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hygiene for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hygiene

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