• synonyms


[helth-fuh l]
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  1. conducive to health; wholesome or salutary: a healthful diet.
  2. healthy.
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Origin of healthful

First recorded in 1350–1400, healthful is from the Middle English word helthful. See health, -ful
Related formshealth·ful·ly, adverbhealth·ful·ness, nounqua·si-health·ful, adjectivequa·si-health·ful·ly, adverb
Can be confusedhealthful healthy (see synonym study at healthy)


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See healthy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

healthy, wholesome, holistic, salubrious

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.

British Dictionary definitions for healthful


  1. a less common word for healthy (def. 1), healthy (def. 2), healthy (def. 3)
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Derived Formshealthfully, adverbhealthfulness, 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

Word Origin and History for healthful


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

healthful in Medicine


  1. Conducive to good health; salutary.
  2. Healthy.
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Related formshealthful•ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.