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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English helthe, from Old English hǣlþ, ultimately from West Proto-Germanic *hailiþō, from Proto-Germanic *hailaz (whole, hale). Cognate with Old High German heilida. Analyzable as whole +‎ -th.

Alternative forms[edit]



health (usually uncountable, plural healths)

  1. The state of being free from physical or psychological disease, illness, or malfunction; wellness. [from 11th c.]
    I think she suffers from autism, ADHD or some other mental health problem.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then he commenced to talk, really talk. and inside of two flaps of a herring's fin he had me mesmerized, like Eben Holt's boy at the town hall show. He talked about the ills of humanity, and the glories of health and Nature and service and land knows what all.
  2. A state of well-being or balance, often physical but sometimes also mental and social; the overall level of function of an organism from the cellular (micro) level to the social (macro) level.
    The directors are concerned about the financial health of the project.
  3. Physical condition.
  4. (obsolete) Cure, remedy. [11th-16th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur, Bk.XVII, Ch.XI:
      And she myght have a dysshfulle of bloode of a maydyn and a clene virgyne in wylle and in worke, and a kynges doughter, that bloode sholde be her helth, for to anoynte her withall.
  5. (countable) A toast to prosperity. [from 17th c.]
    • 2002, Joshua Scodel, Excess and the Mean in Early Modern English Literature‎, page 213:
      Strikingly, however, Waller does not deny but rather revels in the claim that healths lead to excessive drinking
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English haleth (man, hero, fighter), Old English hæleþ (man, hero, fighter), from Proto-Germanic *haliþaz (man, hero). Cognate with West Frisian held (hero), Dutch held (hero), German Held (hero), Danish helt (hero), Swedish hjälte (hero), Norwegian hold (hero).

Alternative forms[edit]


health (plural healths)

  1. (obsolete) A warrior; hero; man.
    • Drayton (1612)
      They, under false pretence of amity and cheer, the British peers invite, the German healths to view.