[ guh-zoo nt-hahyt ]
/ gəˈzʊnt haɪt /


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

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

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.