public health


Definition of public health

: the art and science dealing with the protection and improvement of community health by organized community effort and including preventive medicine and sanitary and social science

Examples of public health in a Sentence

a disease that poses a serious threat to public health She got her degree in public health. Public health officials warned of an influenza outbreak.
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Recent Examples on the Web

According to the families’ attorneys, Justice Michael Mackey cited other court decisions that have held that states have the power to impose such restrictions to protect public health from the spread of infectious disease. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Prominent anti-vaxxers lose New York court case over religious exemptions," 12 July 2019 Both the anti-bacon campaign and the Mayo Clinic complaint are about addressing public health and best practices issues. Jeff Kiger, Twin Cities, "Mayo Clinic ends use of live animals in emergency medicine training," 5 July 2019 The department has more than 12,800 employees and is charged with ensuring public health and regulating health-care professionals. Christine Sexton,, "Florida’s new surgeon general Scott Rivkees keeps his UF job, too," 25 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 Globally, big tobacco and international fast-food chains wield enormous political and economic power that is altering lifestyles and, in turn, influencing public health. Abigail Higgins, Vox, "Heart disease used to be an ailment of the rich. But it’s now striking the world’s poor.," 15 Oct. 2018 Such letters typically demand swift corrections to protect public health and safety. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Exclusive: FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump," 2 July 2019 This story was produced by FairWarning (, a nonprofit news organization based in Southern California that focuses on public health, consumer and environmental issues., "Oregon and other states fail to require energy efficiency rules for legal pot grows," 30 June 2019 These places are working towards public health, climate, and traffic goals by making it easier to get around on two wheels instead of four. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Bike-Friendly Cities, a New Urbanism, and More Car News This Week," 30 June 2019

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

1617, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for public health

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for public health

The first known use of public health was in 1617

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public health


English Language Learners Definition of public health

: the health of people in general
US : the science of caring for the people of a community by giving them basic health care and health information, improving living conditions, etc.

public health

pub·​lic health | \ ˌpəb-lik- How to pronounce public health (audio) \

Medical Definition of public health

: the art and science dealing with the protection and improvement of community health by organized community effort and including preventive medicine and sanitary and social science

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