[ guh-zoo nt-hahyt ]
/ gəˈzʊnt haɪt /


(used to wish good health, especially to a person who has just sneezed.)

Nearby words

  1. gesticulator,
  2. gestosis,
  3. gestural,
  4. gesture,
  5. gesualdo,
  6. get,
  7. get a bang out of,
  8. get a break,
  9. get a charge,
  10. get a dirty look

Origin of gesundheit

1905–10, Americanism; < German: literally, health, equivalent to gesund healthy (Old High German gisunt; see sound2) + -heit -hood Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gesundheit

  • At the same interview, when the doctor sneezed, she said "Gesundheit."

    Benign Stupors|August Hoch

British Dictionary definitions for gesundheit


/ German (ɡəˈzʊnthait) /

sentence substitute

an expression used to wish good health to someone who has just sneezed

Word Origin for gesundheit

from gesund healthy + -heit -hood; see sound ²

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

Word Origin and History for gesundheit


1914, from German Gesundheit, literally "health!" Also in toast auf ihre Gesundheit "to your health" (see sound (adj.)). Lithuanian aciu, echoic of the sound of a sneeze, has come to mean "good luck, God bless you." See also God.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for gesundheit


[ (guh-zoont-heyt) ]

German for “good health.” Like the English phrase “Bless you,” it is conventionally said to someone who has just sneezed. This reflects the superstition that a sneeze can cause the soul to fly out of the body; saying the phrase prevents this from happening.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.