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

The seemingly random proposal is a matter of public health, Parris said. Laura Newberry,, "Citing health study, Lancaster mayor wants to ban workplace necktie requirements for city employees," 12 July 2018 But what has changed is the transition from pediatrics to public health. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Crusader for health of Flint kids keeps up fight to heal lead-poisoned city," 24 June 2018 Gawande is surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a professor at both Harvard's medical school and its school of public health. Tom Murphy,, "Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan Pick Gawande To Lead Health Firm," 20 June 2018 Epidemiological data suggest that as many as 30 percent of mental health disorders are related to childhood adversity, highlighting the widespread impact of early trauma on public health. Dylan Gee, Vox, "I study kids who were separated from their parents. The trauma could change their brains forever.," 20 June 2018 The water contained coliform, the Attorney General's Office said, which generally serves as a sanitation indicator rather than a serious threat to public health. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "AG: Cottonwood employee changed drinking-water test results to hide contamination," 27 May 2018 Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded the lack of scientific information about marijuana poses a risk to public health. The Washington Post,, "Trump announces June 12 summit in Singapore with North Korean leader," 10 May 2018 Islam, who is considering a career in public health, was named a 2018 Emmy Noether Scholar by the Joe W. And Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation. Littice Bacon-blood,, "2 Jefferson Parish students named National Merit Scholars," 22 May 2018 The resulting work is fascinating, and presents a compelling case that these drugs might be the next big thing in American public health. Clay Skipper, GQ, "Michael Pollan on Why Psychedelics Might Save Us All," 18 May 2018

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

13 Sep 2018

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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

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on public health Encyclopedia article about public health

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occurring twice a year or every two years

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