[ hahy-jeen ]
/ ˈhaɪ dʒin /
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Also hygienics. the science that deals with the preservation of health.
a condition or practice conducive to the preservation of health, as cleanliness: Poor personal hygiene can lead to health issues such as skin infections.Mental hygiene in children should be constantly monitored by parents and teachers.
a beneficial or recommended practice or set of practices (used in combination): Using the same password on all of your important accounts is simply not good password hygiene.
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Origin of hygiene

First recorded in 1590–1600; from French hygiène, from New Latin hygieina, from Greek hygieinḕ (téchnē) “healthful (art),” feminine of hygieinós “healthful,” equivalent to hygiḗ(s) “healthy” + -inos-ine1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does hygiene mean?

Hygiene is a collection of practices to promote and preserve health, or a condition involving the use of such practices.

In its most popular sense, hygiene refers to habitual actions that help you stay physically healthy, such as washing your hands and brushing your teeth. This sense of the word is especially used in phrases like personal hygiene and good hygiene. Personal hygiene is closely associated with cleanliness.

Hygiene can also be applied to one’s mental well-being—mental hygiene is the practice of trying to maintain mental health through proactive behavior and treatment.

The word hygiene is also used to refer to the science that deals with preserving health—both of individuals and the general public. Another word for this is hygienics.

The adjective hygienic can mean related to or involving hygiene, promoting good health, or sanitary.

Example: Washing your hands is the easiest way to improve your personal hygiene.

Where does hygiene come from?

The first records of the word hygiene come from the late 1500s. It ultimately comes from the Greek hygiḗ(s), meaning “healthy.” The suffix -ine means “pertaining to.”

Hygiene pertains to healthiness in all of its forms. Physical hygiene begins with cleanliness, and mental hygiene can also be thought of the range of methods for keeping your mind clean. Hygiene is often used in phrases like hygiene routine or hygiene regimen, both of which refer to the fact that such practices work best when they’re done regularly.

As a science, hygiene involves the study of methods for maintaining health and cleanliness on a large scale.

Hygiene can also be used figuratively, such as in phrases like cyber hygiene and internet hygiene—referring to the practice of protecting internet-connected devices from viruses (like how good physical hygiene protects from you from actual viruses).

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What are some other forms related to hygiene?

What are some synonyms for hygiene?

What are some words that share a root or word element with hygiene

What are some words that often get used in discussing hygiene?

How is hygiene used in real life?

Hygiene is most commonly discussed in the context of personal hygiene, but it’s other senses are also commonly used.



Try using hygiene!

Which of the following actions is an example of good hygiene?

A. brushing your teeth
B. washing your hands
C. practicing mindfulness
D. all of the above

How to use hygiene in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hygiene

/ (ˈhaɪdʒiːn) /

Also called: hygienics the science concerned with the maintenance of health
clean or healthy practices or thinkingpersonal hygiene

Word Origin for hygiene

C18: from New Latin hygiēna, from Greek hugieinē, from hugiēs healthy
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