The Grammar Guide Spelling What is the difference between 'health' and 'healthy'?

What is the difference between 'health' and 'healthy'?

What is the difference between 'health' and 'healthy'?

The words health and healthy are often confused because they look similar. We'll explain the difference.

Health means the state of being free from physical or psychological disease, illness, or malfunction; wellness when used as a noun.

Healthy means enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit: well when used as an adjective.

A good way to remember the difference is the adjective ends in a Y.

Out of the two words, 'health' is the most common. It appears about five times more frequently than 'healthy'.

It's easy to confuse health and healthy because they have similar spellings and meaning. However, they are different parts of speech.

Health is a noun. It means "an individual's overall state of well-being and physical fitness." Sometimes, it's used to only mean "good health."

Healthy is an adjective that means "in good health."

What's the correct phrase 'clean bill of health' or 'clean bill of healthy'?

You should use 'clean bill of health'. These phrases are often confused because they are easy to mistype.

Is the phrase: 'healthy appetite' or 'health appetite'?

The phrase is 'healthy appetite.' These phrases are often confused because they are spelled similarly.

Is it 'in good health' or 'in good healthy'?

The correct phrase is 'in good health.' These phrases are easy to confuse because they are spelled similarly.

Some synonyms of health are: well-being, status, fitness, energy.

Some synonyms of healthy are: strong, tough, rosy, fit, hearty.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Examples of health in a sentence

Caroline explained that her fiancé’s father wasn’t in good health.
- Secret Weapon Spouse by B. J. Daniels
Finally, she gestured toward the empty, paved track that circled the health club.
- Cold Midnight by Joyce Lamb
She tried to nurse him back to health.
- The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
I think her death gnawed at Mr. Morrow—his health deteriorated soon after.”
- The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff
I gave him clothes from my husband’s chest and food so that he recovered his health.
- The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth

Examples of healthy in a sentence

The healthy handshake of those who’ve been living a long time overseas.
- The Elephant vanishes by Haruki Murakami
Don’t any of these women know it’s healthy to hold a grudge?”
- Knife Music by David Carnoy
The baby spat and coughed and broke into a loud, healthy wail.
- Where Heaven Begins by Bittner
Whatever he needed done would undoubtedly be dangerous, and that might mean a healthy wage.
- Exile's Return by Raymond E. Feist
The sound was healthy.
- Doctor No by Ian Fleming

Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.