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Etymology 1[edit]

Inherited from Middle English helthe, from Old English hǣlþ, from Proto-West Germanic *hailiþu, from Proto-Germanic *hailiþō, from Proto-Germanic *hailaz (whole, hale). Cognate with Old High German heilida. Analyzable as whole +‎ -th, hale +‎ -th, or heal +‎ -th. More at heal. Doublet of wholth.

Alternative forms[edit]


  • enPR: hĕlth, IPA(key): /hɛlθ/, [hɛl̪θ]
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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.]
    Her mental health is really affected by stressful environments.
    • 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. [16th c. (Middle English: 11th–15th c.)]
  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.
    • 2018 March 6, Martin Robinson, “Dispelling the myths of Bloodborne”, in Eurogamer[1]:
      Lose a little health and there's a few seconds in which you'll be able to win it back by ragging on an enemy.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English heleð (man, hero, fighter), from Old English hæleþ (man, hero, fighter), from Proto-West Germanic *haliþ, from Proto-Germanic *haliþaz (man, hero). Cognate with West Frisian held (hero), Dutch held (hero), German Held (hero), Norwegian Nynorsk hauld (freeman).

Alternative forms[edit]


health (plural healths)

  1. (obsolete) A warrior; hero; man.