[san-i-tey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for sanitation on
  1. the development and application of sanitary measures for the sake of cleanliness, protecting health, etc.
  2. the disposal of sewage and solid waste.

Origin of sanitation

First recorded in 1840–50; sanit(ary) + -ation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sanitation

cleanliness, hygiene, hygienics, asepsis, disinfection

Examples from the Web for sanitation

Contemporary Examples of sanitation

Historical Examples of sanitation

  • Sanitation is ever the last thing thought of by French authorities.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Sanitation, not the word, but the underlying idea, was taught by precept and example.

    The Negro Farmer

    Carl Kelsey

  • Drastic improvements in housing, feeding, and sanitation in the towns themselves.

    Another Sheaf

    John Galsworthy

  • This commonly held belief is based on statistics of longevity and sanitation.

    Another Sheaf

    John Galsworthy

  • The Board of Health is very active in the sanitation of Manila.

British Dictionary definitions for sanitation


  1. the study and use of practical measures for the preservation of public 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

Word Origin and History for sanitation

1848, irregularly formed from sanitary. Figurative use from 1934. As a euphemism for garbage (e.g. sanitation engineer) first recorded 1939.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sanitation in Medicine


  1. Formulation and application of measures designed to protect public health.
  2. Disposal of sewage.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.