hy·​giene | \ ˈhī-ˌjēn also hī-ˈjēn How to pronounce hygiene (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hygiene

hygienist \ hī-​ˈjē-​nist How to pronounce hygienist (audio) , ˈhī-​ˌjē-​ , hī-​ˈje-​ How to pronounce hygienist (audio) \ 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Officials encouraged recovered individuals to remain vigilant about their hygiene and health. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "Can you catch the coronavirus twice? Answers to 5 pressing questions about the worldwide outbreak," 11 Feb. 2020 And this community is hoping today’s sad state of healthcare cyber hygiene can be fixed before anyone gets hurt or killed. Yael Grauer, Ars Technica, "Why is the healthcare industry still so bad at cybersecurity?," 9 Feb. 2020 Tips about cyber hygiene are listed on the department’s website, Abbott noted. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "As they fret about cyberattacks from Iran, Texas officials also say homegrown ‘incels’ pose threat," 7 Jan. 2020 Floss with single-use flossers (maybe one flosser per tooth, for hygiene?). Chloe Radcliffe Tom Chitty, The New Yorker, "Things You Are Allowed to Do Now That You Use Paper Straws," 12 Dec. 2019 Among the theories that seek to explain the increase in food allergies is that the rise in hygiene — more antibacterial products, less playing in dirt — has prevented kids’ bodies from building tolerance to certain substances. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Halloween doesn’t have to stink for kids with food allergies. Just look for the teal pumpkins.," 25 Oct. 2019 Concerns of hygiene and safety often crop up during online conversations about dumpster diving. Los Angeles Times, "Everyone’s trash is this woman’s treasure," 20 Sep. 2019 Most had not showered while in CBP custody and were instead given cleaning wipes for personal hygiene. CBS News, "DHS watchdog details squalid conditions at migrant detention centers," 2 July 2019 For most, shaving is a habit, an act of hygiene and self care. Billy Cadden, Popular Science, "What to buy for a better shave," 28 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hygiene

Time Traveler for hygiene

Time Traveler

The first known use of hygiene was in 1671

See more words from the same year

Statistics for hygiene

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hygiene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hygiene. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hygiene


How to pronounce hygiene (audio)

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 How to pronounce hygiene (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hygiene

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!