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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]


  • enPR: hĕlth, IPA(key): /hɛlθ/
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  • Rhymes: -ɛlθ


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 has 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 July 31, Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], (please specify the book number), [London]: [] [by William Caxton], OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: Published by David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
      , 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
  6. (video games) The amount of damage an in-game object can withstand before it is destroyed.
    The enemies on this level have a lot of health.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

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.