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

This order sufficiently alleged an immediate, serious danger to the public health, safety, or welfare. Jim Saunders,, "Appeals court backs Rick Scott's effort to close Hollywood nursing home," 20 June 2018 The public health agency had also verified, through another unannounced visit in the spring, that the plan was being implemented. Josh Kovner,, "Pregnant 16-Year-Old Died Of Asphyxiation At Children's Psychiatric Center, DCF Says," 3 July 2018 The Legislature’s action drew a strong rebuke from public health advocates who view soda taxes as a crucial front in their efforts to contain diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Jonathan J. Cooper,, "California lawmakers pass ban on local soda taxes," 29 June 2018 This investment in the DDF also provides hope for the future by recognizing that the urgent need to find better treatments will require cooperation among researchers, public health agencies and investors., "AARP invests $60M to fund research for cures to dementia and Alzheimer's," 25 June 2018 But food makers and public health advocates agree that artificial trans fats are effectively no more. Author: Caitlin Dewey, Anchorage Daily News, "Artificial trans fats, widely linked to heart disease, are officially banned," 19 June 2018 The policy was widely supported by public health advocates, who feel that flavored products, which may increase users’ risks of certain respiratory conditions, are appealing to kids and may encourage them to begin using tobacco. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "San Francisco Voters Just Approved a Ban on Flavored Tobacco," 6 June 2018 His whole team has been dismantled, and budget cuts have already forced US public health agencies to scale back their international work. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "4 stories that you shouldn’t miss this week, explained," 18 May 2018 But public health advocates have said none of those moves is adequate. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Trump White House is months late on strategy on drugs despite opioid emergency," 27 Apr. 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

25 Oct 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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