adjective, health·i·er, health·i·est.

  1. possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality: a healthy body; a healthy mind.
  2. pertaining to or characteristic of good health, or a sound and vigorous mind: a healthy appearance; healthy attitudes.
  3. conducive to good health; healthful: healthy recreations.
  4. prosperous or sound: a healthy business.
  5. Informal. fairly large: I bought a healthy number of books.

adjective healthier or healthiest

  1. enjoying good health
  2. functioning well or being soundthe company’s finances are not very healthy
  3. conducive to health; salutary
  4. indicating soundness of body or minda healthy appetite
  5. informal considerable in size or amounta healthy sum

1630s, from healthy + -ly (2).


1550s, from health + -y (2). Slightly earlier in the same sense was healthsome (1530s). Related: Healthiness.

It is wrong to say that certain articles of food are healthy or unhealthy. Wholesome and unwholesome are the right words. A pig may be healthy or unhealthy while alive; but after he is killed and becomes pork, he can enjoy no health, and suffer no sickness. [Eliza Leslie, “Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book,” Philadelphia, 1839]


  1. Possessing good health.
  2. Conducive to good health; healthful.
  3. Indicative of sound, rational thinking or frame of mind.
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