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[helth-fuh l] /ˈhɛlθ fəl/
conducive to health; wholesome or salutary:
a healthful diet.
Origin of healthful
First recorded in 1350-1400, healthful is from the Middle English word helthful. See health, -ful
Related forms
healthfully, adverb
healthfulness, noun
quasi-healthful, adjective
quasi-healthfully, adverb
Can be confused
healthful, healthy (see synonym study at healthy) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for healthful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But it was all healthful, heartening work, and we enjoyed it to the full.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Such unusual exercise was severe for them, but it seemed to be healthful.

    Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis
  • His work had not been to him as complete and healthful occupation as Hetty's had been to her.

  • They had risen before him fast, in the healthful exercise and the pleasant road.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The cold was steady and could be depended upon; moreover, it was healthful and invigorating.

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • But there were nooks in the country side which were not healthful for them.

British Dictionary definitions for healthful


a less common word for healthy (sense 1), healthy (sense 2), healthy (sense 3)
Derived Forms
healthfully, adverb
healthfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for healthful

late 14c., "wholesome, curative, saving," from health + -ful. Related: Healthfully; healthfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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healthful in Medicine

healthful health·ful (hělth'fəl)

  1. Conducive to good health; salutary.

  2. Healthy.

health'ful·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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