gesundheit

gesundheit

[guh-zoont-hahyt]
interjection
(used to wish good health, especially to a person who has just sneezed.)

Origin:
1905–10, Americanism; < German: literally, health, equivalent to gesund healthy (Old High German gisunt; see sound2) + -heit -hood

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
gesundheit (ɡəˈzʊnthait)
 
sentence substitute
an expression used to wish good health to someone who has just sneezed
 
[from gesund healthy + -heit-hood; see sound²]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gesundheit
1914, from Ger., lit. "health!" Also in toast auf ihre Gesundheit "to your health" (see sound (adj.)). Lith. aciu, echoic of the sound of a sneeze, has come to mean "good luck, God bless you." See also God.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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