[ san-i-ter-ee ]
/ ˈsæn ɪˌtɛr i /


of or relating to health or the conditions affecting health, especially with reference to cleanliness, precautions against disease, etc.
favorable to health; free from dirt, bacteria, etc.: a sanitary washroom.
providing healthy cleanliness: a sanitary wrapper on all sandwiches.

Origin of sanitary

1835–45; < Latin sānit(ās) health (see sanity) + -ary


1, 2 clean, germ-free, unpolluted, antiseptic. Sanitary, hygienic agree in being concerned with health. Sanitary refers more especially to conditions affecting health or measures for guarding against infection or disease: to insure sanitary conditions in preparing food. Hygienic is applied to whatever concerns the care of the body and the promotion of health: to live in hygienic surroundings with plenty of fresh air.
2 healthy, salutary.


san·i·tar·i·ly, adverbsan·i·tar·i·ness, nounpre·san·i·tar·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for sanitary

British Dictionary definitions for sanitary

/ (ˈsænɪtərɪ, -trɪ) /


of or relating to health and measures for the protection of health
conducive to or promoting health; free from dirt, germs, etc; hygienic

Derived forms of sanitary

sanitarily, adverbsanitariness, noun

Word Origin for sanitary

C19: from French sanitaire, from Latin sānitās health
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

Medical definitions for sanitary

[ sănĭ-tĕr′ē ]


Of or relating to health.
Free from elements, such as filth or pathogens, that endanger health; hygienic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.