The Meaning of Sanity: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of sanity? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word sanity, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What does the word sanity mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, and the American Heritage English Dictionary, the word sanity is a noun that refers to a soundness of judgment, mind or mental health, or the condition of being sane. Someone who has sanity or a sane mind has good judgment, good sense, common sense, rationality, or a normal psychological state at a satisfactory level. Someone who does not have sanity may not have a lucid state of mind or lucidity of thought, or they might be diagnosed with a disorder by a doctor of psychiatry or psychology. This person may be an outcast in modern society, have a troubled conscience, or a narrowness or brokenness in the health of the human mind or difficulty coping with emotional aspects of their life. Sanity has three syllables – san-i-ty, and the pronunciation of sanity is ˈsænɪtɪ. 

Many different languages also use words that mean sanity. You may notice that some of these translations of sanity from Word Sense look and sound like the word sanity. These are called cognates, which are often formed when two words have the same root or language of origin. 

  •  Norwegian: tilregnelighet‎, fornuft‎ (masc.)
  •  German: Verstand‎ (masc.), (law) Zurechnungsfähigkeit‎ (fem.)
  •  Esperanto: prudento‎
  •  Indonesian: kewarasan‎
  •  Portuguese: sanidade‎
  •  French: santé mentale‎ (fem.)
  •  Swedish: förnuft‎ (neut.), förstånd‎ (neut.)
  •  Turkish: akıl sağlığı‎, aklıselimlik‎, makullük‎, muhakeme‎, ruh sağlığı‎
  •  Romanian: sănătate‎ (fem.), echilibru mintal‎ (neut.), echilibru psihic‎ (neut.)
  •  Telugu: వివేకము‎ (vivEkamu)
  •  Russian: вменя́емость‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the word sanity?

According to Etymonline, the word sanity has been used since the early 15th century aa the Middle English sanite to refer to a person in a healthy condition. This comes from the Old French sanité and Anglo-French sanité meaning health, from the Latin sanitatem and Latin sanitat, the nominative Latin sānitās/Latin sanitas meaning health or sanity. This comes from the Latin sanus/sānus meaning healthy or sane. Sanity has been used to refer to soundness of mind since c15.

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word sanity?

There are many different words that a person could choose to use in place of the word sanity. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning or definition as another given word or phrase. Learning synonyms is an easy way to expand your English language vocabulary, and synonyms can also help you avoid repeating yourself in written or spoken English. This list of synonyms of sanity is provided by Thesaurus

  •  balance
  •  good judgment
  •  compos mentis
  •  understanding
  •  comprehension
  •  soundness
  •  prudence
  •  clear mind
  •  marbles
  •  common sense
  •  normality
  •  sound mind
  •  lucidness
  •  healthy mind
  •  reason
  •  sagacity
  •  saneness
  •  levelheadedness
  •  rationality
  •  stability
  •  wit
  •  mental health
  •  lucidity
  •  intelligence
  •  reasonableness
  •  judiciousness
  •  acumen
  •  sense
  •  right mind

There are also a selection of different words that have the opposite meaning of sanity. These are called antonyms. Learning antonyms is another quick and easy way to expand your vocabulary, and this list of antonyms of sanity is also provided by Thesaurus.

  •  preposterousness
  •  dotage
  •  unreasonableness
  •  hysteria
  •  lunacy
  •  frenzy
  •  hallucination
  •  irrationality
  •  delusion
  •  mental disorder
  •  mental illness
  •  psychopathy
  •  neurosis
  •  folly
  •  absurdity
  •  dementia
  •  phobia
  •  distraction
  •  irresponsibility
  •  illusion
  •  psychosis
  •  mania
  •  craziness
  •  witlessness
  •  derangement
  •  unbalance
  •  delirium
  •  madness
  •  alienation
  •  senselessness
  •  inanity
  •  aberration
  •  foolishness
  •  insanity

How can the word sanity be used in a sentence?

The word sanity can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to learn their definitions and incorporate them into your vocabulary. You could also try creating flashcards or quizzes to test your knowledge of different definitions. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! You never know, it may become one of your new favorite words to use! Below are a few different examples of sanity to get you started.

There are many cautionary tales and real life scares about the fragility of health from social media this election season causing a lack of sanity. It’s not the American selfie that caused the onset of the mental health crisis, it’s the constant bombardment of politics.

If it weren’t for sunny days, I would have lost my sanity a long time ago. I have too many stressors in my life to add cabin fever. I have a reckoning that the sanity of many people relies on weather.

The ghouls that the previous tenants swore they saw are questioning the sanctity of your sanity. There are some things that fall within reasonable lines, but ghosts? Come on.

I was beginning to question my sanity after watching the series of documentaries. I couldn’t get the different theses out of my head.

I felt awful when my grandparent began to lose their sanity. They were diagnosed with a permanent disorder of the mind after a series of road accidents and had never been the same since. At least they still remember who I am.

Overall, the word sanity (ˈsæn-ity) means a soundness of mind or rationality of judgment. Someone who has sanity is in good mental health and is capable of making rational decisions for themselves. Someone who does not have sanity may be considered to have insanity. This person may have difficulty with their mental health and may require assistance from a psychologist or psychiatrist to combat these troubles. 


  1. sanity: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. SANITY Synonyms: 38 Synonyms & Antonyms for SANITY | Thesaurus 
  3. INSANITY Synonyms: 39 Synonyms & Antonyms for INSANITY | Thesaurus 
  4. sanity | Origin and meaning of sanity | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Sanity definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary