1823, "pertaining to health or hygiene," from French sanitaire (1812), from Latin sanitas "health," from sanus "healthy; sane" (see sane). In reference to menstrual devices, by 1881 (in sanitary towel). In U.S. history the Sanitary Commission, created by the Secretary of War in 1861, provided relief to soldiers and oversaw military lodging and hospitals. Sanitarian is by 1859 as "promoter of, or one versed in, sanitary measures or reforms;" sanitarist in that sense also is by 1859.
updated on December 20, 2021
Dictionary entries near sanitary