[guh-zoo nt-hahyt]
See more synonyms for gesundheit on

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. 2018

Related Words for gesundheit

sternutation, gosh, well, gesundheit, golly, phew

Examples from the Web for gesundheit

Historical Examples of gesundheit

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

    Benign Stupors

    August Hoch

British Dictionary definitions for gesundheit


sentence substitute
  1. 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

gesundheit in Culture



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.