Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Origin: German, health, from Middle High German gesuntheit, from gesunt, healthy, from Old High German gisunt.
gesundheit - Cultural Definition
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.