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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

With barely enough water to drink, sanitation can take a backseat, leading to overflowing public toilets and poor female menstrual hygiene. Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan And Swati Gupta, CNN, "India's sixth biggest city is almost entirely out of water," 19 June 2019 Woman Suing Her Former Employer for Allegedly Firing Her Over Period Leaks The mayor’s statics were pulled from a survey produced by Feminine hygiene brand Always, which talked to American females aged 16-24. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Boston Public Schools to Offer Students Free Menstrual Supplies: It's 'About Equity'," 18 June 2019 According to People magazine, Carrasco – with the help of friends and family – ordered 95 pizzas and made 400 hygiene packages for residents of the shelter dedicated to serving homeless men, women and children. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Houston senior who fed pizza to homeless instead of graduation party is feted by posh steakhouse," 17 June 2019 Jail staff assigned him a new cellmate after another inmate complained of Larson’s lewd comments and poor hygiene. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "There Has Been an Explosion of Homicides in California’s County Jails. Here’s Why.," 15 June 2019 The hygiene conditions are poor, and there is nothing else with which to clean my table other than toothpaste. Joshua Wong, Time, "I'm in Prison Because I Fought For My City's Freedom. Hong Kong's Extradition Law Would be a Victory for Authoritarianism Everywhere," 14 June 2019 Some consumers’ applications for coverage were lost or suspended in Cúram’s system, said Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland’s secretary of health and mental hygiene back in 2014. Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "IBM to Pay Nearly $15 Million for Issues Tied to Maryland’s Health Exchange," 14 June 2019 The hygiene and home products market is shifting towards low price-band products. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A 200-year-old British consumer goods giant is banking on an Indian for growth," 14 June 2019 Oregon Portland: The city has launched a program to distribute portable toilets in order to reduce cleanup costs and improve public health and hygiene. USA TODAY, "Retired monkeys, freeze-dried blood, ‘Hidden Figures Way’: News from around our 50 states," 14 June 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.

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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

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hygiene

The first known use of hygiene was in 1671

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More Definitions for hygiene



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

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Comments on hygiene

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