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Coined by doctor Joseph William Howe in 1874 and described as being derived from the Latin hālitus (literally whiff, breath) and the Ancient Greek νόσος (nósos, literally disease). It can be also understood as combination of the Latin hālitus and the English suffix -osis.


  • (US) IPA(key): /hæl.ɪˈtoʊs.ɪs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊsɪs


halitosis (countable and uncountable, plural halitoses)

  1. (pathology) The condition of having stale or foul-smelling breath.
    • 2004, Dicken Weatherby, Signs and Symptoms Analysis from a Functional Perspective, Weatherby & Associates, LLC, →ISBN, page 115:
      Bad breath or halitosis is an indication of a disturbed digestive system. It is indicative of a bowel toxemia in either the small or large intestine with an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast.
    • [2018 June 13, Michael Schein, “Author Simon Sinek Is Full Of Hot Air (And Other Reasons You Should Follow His Lead)”, in Forbes[1]:
      For example, the word halitosis was almost completely unknown among the general public until the early 20th century when a business owner named Gerard Lambert started using it to sell a new product called Listerine. By giving a mundane fact of life (bad breath) a scientific sounding label, Lambert elevated the authority and desirability of his product many times over.]


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  • IPA(key): /aliˈtosis/ [a.liˈt̪o.sis]
  • Rhymes: -osis
  • Syllabification: ha‧li‧to‧sis


halitosis f (plural halitosis)

  1. halitosis

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