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

Sandoval, a Republican, said Nevada won’t stand for the threat that shipping and storing highly toxic and cancer-causing material could pose to public health and safety. Ken Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Nevada suing US in bid to block plan for plutonium shipments," 4 Dec. 2018 Canada's public health agency has identified another 18 cases in Ontario and Quebec. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Romaine Lettuce Is Not Safe to Eat, CDC Warns After E. Coli Outbreak," 20 Nov. 2018 So every year, public health agencies essentially make educated guesses on what strains and mutations will make the rounds. Julia Belluz, Vox, "80,000 Americans died of the flu last year. Get your flu shot.," 27 Sep. 2018 The state's top public health agency went even further. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore labels Milwaukee lead prevention efforts a 'hot mess'," 27 June 2018 Both state and local public health agencies have issued air quality advisories to stay inside until smoke clears, and have warned those who have health risks to be extra cautious. Steve Almasy And Amir Vera, CNN, "Colorado fire grows, sends thousands fleeing," 12 June 2018 Most states send the civilly committed to treatment facilities run or contracted by public health agencies. Washington Post, "In the addiction battle, is forced rehab the solution?," 23 May 2018 Dry January, an annual event challenging people to give up alcohol for a month, first started as a U.K. public health campaign in 2013, but has since found a worldwide following among temporary teetotalers. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What It's Really Like to Give Up Alcohol, According to 5 Women Doing It Right Now," 24 Jan. 2019 Massachusetts is one of at least 36 states to sue Purdue, along with more than 1,500 cities and counties, accusing the company of helping create a public health crisis that kills more than 100 Americans daily. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "Purdue Pharma Family Had Heavy Hand in Opioid Marketing, Complaint Says," 15 Jan. 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

15 Feb 2019

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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- \

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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