Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The science that deals with the promotion and preservation of health. Also called hygienics.
  • n. Conditions and practices that serve to promote or preserve health: hygiene in the workplace; personal hygiene.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The science of health, its promotion and preservation.
  • n. Those conditions and practices that promote and preserve health.
  • n. Cleanliness, in the context of personal hygiene.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That department of sanitary science which treats of the preservation of health, esp. of households and communities; a system of principles or rules designated for the promotion of health.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That department of medical knowledge which concerns the preservation of health; a system of principles or rules designed for the promotion of health; sanitary science.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a condition promoting sanitary practices
  • n. the science concerned with the prevention of illness and maintenance of health

Etymologies

French hygiène and New Latin hygieina, both from Greek hugieinē (tekhnē), (art) of health, feminine of hugiēs, healthy; see gwei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French hygiène, from Ancient Greek ὑγιαίνω (hugiainō, "be healthy, sound"), from ὑγιής (hugies, "healthy, sound"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Related to bio-, zo- "life" and thus to English quick, Latin viv-, vit-. The labiovelar *gw usually became b but in *su-gwih3- "well-life" the adjacent u delabialized it to g instead. (And zo- is apparently a different dialectal development, *gwj > *gj > *dz > zd. I didn't know that either.)

    January 16, 2009