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[hahy-jee-en-ik, hahy-jen-, -jee-nik] /ˌhaɪ dʒiˈɛn ɪk, haɪˈdʒɛn-, -ˈdʒi nɪk/
conducive to good health; healthful; sanitary.
of or relating to hygiene.
Also, hygienical [hahy-jee-en-i-kuh l, hahy-jen-, -jee-ni-kuh l] /ˌhaɪ dʒiˈɛn ɪ kəl, haɪˈdʒɛn-, -ˈdʒi nɪ kəl/ (Show IPA).
Origin of hygienic
First recorded in 1825-35; hygiene + -ic
Related forms
hygienically, adverb
antihygienic, adjective
antihygienically, adverb
nonhygienic, adjective
unhygienic, adjective
unhygienically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unhygienic
Historical Examples
  • Cuba was free, but she must not wallow near our shores in an unhygienic state, or borrow money without our consent.

  • The time had been when she would at once have denounced the room as overcrowded and unhygienic.

    Gray youth Oliver Onions
  • And Dorothy could well afford it, if one might judge of her fortune from her unhygienic but expensive dresses.

    Gray youth Oliver Onions
  • Diphtheria is not directly caused by unhygienic surroundings.

  • I have not been able to find in the studies of the physiologists that its retention is abnormal or unhygienic.

  • You—you don't think it will be unhygienic for him to sleep with me?

    Adventures of Bindle Herbert George Jenkins
  • In short, an unhygienic life, for the sake of economy, is “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”

    How to Live Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk
  • It is not ideal if it is unethical, unhygienic, or unæsthetic.

    Sex-education Maurice Alpheus Bigelow
  • One morning, for all he knows, it may come from a model dairy farm, and the next from the most unhygienic surroundings imaginable.

  • These unsanitary and unhygienic conditions have dwarfed the tropical dwellers in body and in mind.

British Dictionary definitions for unhygienic


not promoting health or cleanliness; unsanitary


promoting health or cleanliness; sanitary
Derived Forms
hygienically, adverb
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 unhygienic

1883, from un- (1) "not" + hygenic.



1833, from French hygiénique, from hygiène; see hygiene. The earlier adjective was hygienal (1660s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unhygienic in Medicine

hygienic hy·gi·en·ic (hī'jē-ěn'ĭk, hī-jěn'-, -jē'nĭk)

  1. Of or relating to hygiene.

  2. Tending to promote or preserve health.

  3. Sanitary.

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