to immerse (all or part of the body) in water or some other liquid, for cleansing, refreshment, etc.
to wet; wash.
to moisten or suffuse with any liquid.
to apply water or other liquid to, with a sponge, cloth, etc.:
to bathe a wound.
to wash over or against, as by the action of the sea, a river, etc.:
incoming tides bathing the coral reef.
to cover or surround:
a shaft of sunlight bathing the room; a morning fog bathing the city.
to take a bath or sunbath.
to swim for pleasure.
to be covered or surrounded as if with water.

the act of bathing, especially in the sea, a lake, or a river.
a swimming bath.

Contemporary Examples

Women would first bathe their feet in a mixture of vinegar and natural vegetation.
Corsets, Muslin Disease, and More of the Deadly Fashion Trends The Fashion Beast Team March 31, 2014

I remember getting up and going in to bathe him and dress him.
Ireland’s ‘Mother and Baby Home’ Horror Goes Beyond Tuam’s Dead Infants Patsy McGarry June 5, 2014

Licensed practical nurses are essentially menial hospital workers who collect vital signs, change bedpans, and bathe patients.
America’s Doctors Are Overpaid Noah Kristula-Green July 24, 2012

When we get home from work we are already tired and the last thing we want to do is feed, bathe, play with a kid.
Why I Choose to Be Child-Free: Readers Share Their Stories Harry Siegel February 26, 2013

Sandra Fluke, the 47%, Kenyan anti-colonialism, “legitimate rape,” birth certificates … you felt the need to bathe after it all.
Six Steps for a Stronger GOP David Frum November 9, 2012

Historical Examples

Some of the sick have been to bathe in one of the hot springs and pronounce the effects wonderfully beneficial.
William Clayton’s Journal William Clayton

I have had your tent pitched, Doctor Winkleman; and you must bathe and change and rest.
The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White

I must bathe my brows in the vague mist, in the fragrance of the earth, in the light of the dawning day.
Rodin: The Man and his Art Judith Cladel

If the limbs be swelled, or joints stiff, it will be proper to foment them with warm vinegar, or bathe them in lukewarm water.
The Cook and Housekeeper’s Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, Mary Eaton

It was soon lighted again and breakfast prepared, before which I had a bathe in the spring.
The Backwoodsman Various

(intransitive) to swim or paddle in a body of open water or a river, esp for pleasure
(transitive) to apply liquid to (skin, a wound, etc) in order to cleanse or soothe
to immerse or be immersed in a liquid: to bathe machine parts in oil
(mainly US & Canadian) to wash in a bath
(transitive; often passive) to suffuse: her face was bathed with radiance
(transitive) (of water, the sea, etc) to lap; wash: waves bathed the shore
(Brit) a swim or paddle in a body of open water or a river

Old English baþian “to wash, lave, bathe” (transitive and intransitive), from root of bath (q.v.), with different vowel sound due to i-mutation. Related: Bathed; bathing.


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