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a washing or immersion of something, especially the body, in water, steam, etc., as for cleansing or medical treatment:
I take a bath every day. Give the dog a bath.
a quantity of water or other liquid used for this purpose:
running a bath.
a container for water or other cleansing liquid, as a bathtub.
a room equipped for bathing; bathroom:
The house has two baths.
a building containing rooms or apartments with equipment for bathing; bathhouse.
Often, baths. one of the elaborate bathing establishments of the ancients:
the baths of Caracalla.
Usually, baths. a town or resort visited for medical treatment by bathing or the like; spa.
a preparation, as an acid solution, in which something is immersed.
the container for such a preparation.
a device for controlling the temperature of something by the use of a surrounding medium, as sand, water, oil, etc.

the depressed hearth of a steelmaking furnace.
the molten metal being made into steel in a steelmaking furnace.

the state of being covered by a liquid, as perspiration:
in a bath of sweat.
to wash or soak in a bath.
take a bath, Informal. to suffer a large financial loss:
Many investors are taking a bath on their bond investments.
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

According to Bivens, “Each of the actresses tried on probably 100 bathing suits each” before settling on their final costumes.
The Secrets Behind the Bikinis of Harmony Korine’s New Film, ‘Spring Breakers’ Misty White Sidell March 18, 2013

Then again, just bathing the dog takes more than two hours, since his massive coat must be painstakingly hand-dried.
Hot Dogs! Rebecca Dana February 15, 2010

Perry is a pop general, perched atop a candy rainbow, bathing her army of fans in an elixir of empowerment.
‘Prism’ Review: Katy Perry Perfects the Pop Blockbuster Kevin Fallon October 21, 2013

But in one area, they seem to have regressed: bathing attire is starting to look positively Victorian.
Is the Facekini the Future of Beachwear? Justin Jones August 22, 2014

For a month, our soldiers had been bathing with baby wipes, in the absence of any running water.
Meet the Secret Powerbrokers of D.C.: Five Top Women in Communications Abigail Pesta January 17, 2012

Historical Examples

“Come just as you are–in your bathing suit,” invited Cora, and Rosalie did.
The Motor Girls on the Coast Margaret Penrose

Mohammedan women, if surprised when bathing, cover first the face.
Folkways William Graham Sumner

The only sources of their livelihood are fishing and bathing visitors.
A Woman’s Journey Round the World Ida Pfeiffer

Has some one fallen in the river, or is it boys on a bathing frolic?
Floyd Grandon’s Honor Amanda Minnie Douglas

It gave me considerable sexual satisfaction when I was able to see them bathing without pants.
Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2 (of 6) Havelock Ellis

noun (pl) baths (bɑːðz)
a large container, esp one made of enamelled iron or plastic, used for washing or medically treating the body related adjective balneal
the act or an instance of washing in such a container
the amount of liquid contained in a bath
run a bath, to turn on the taps to fill a bath with water for bathing oneself
(usually pl) a place that provides baths or a swimming pool for public use

a vessel in which something is immersed to maintain it at a constant temperature, to process it photographically, electrolytically, etc, or to lubricate it
the liquid used in such a vessel

(Brit) to wash in a bath
an ancient Hebrew unit of liquid measure equal to about 8.3 Imperial gallons or 10 US gallons
a city in SW England, in Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority, Somerset, on the River Avon: famous for its hot springs; a fashionable spa in the 18th century; Roman remains, notably the baths; university (1966). Pop: 90 144 (2001) Latin name Aquae Sulis (ˈækwiːˈsuːlɪs)
(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

1540s, verbal noun from bathe (v.). Bathing suit is recorded from 1852 (bathing costume from 1830); bathing beauty is 1920, from vaudeville.

Old English bæð “immersing in water, mud, etc.,” also “quantity of water, etc., for bathing,” from Proto-Germanic *batham (cf. Old Norse bað, Middle Dutch bat, German bad), from PIE root *bhe- “to warm” (cf. Latin fovere “to foment”) + Germanic *-thuz suffix indicating “act, process, condition” (cf. birth, death). Original sense was of heating, not immersing in water. The city in Somerset, England (Old English Baðun) was so called from its hot springs. Bath salts attested from 1875 (Dr. Julius Braun, “On the Curative Effects of Baths and Waters”).

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.

bath (bāth)
n. pl. baths (bāðz, bāths)

The act of soaking or cleansing the body or any of its parts, as in water.

The apparatus used in giving a bath.

The fluid used to maintain the metabolic activities of an organism.

Related Terms

take a bath

a Hebrew liquid measure, the tenth part of an homer (1 Kings 7:26, 38; Ezek. 45:10, 14). It contained 8 gallons 3 quarts of our measure. “Ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath” (Isa. 5:10) denotes great unproductiveness.


take a bath
throw out the baby with the bath water


Read Also:

  • Bathing beauty

    an attractive woman in a bathing suit, especially an entrant in a beauty contest. noun an attractive girl in a swimming costume Also called (old-fashioned) bathing belle

  • Bathing cap

    a tight-fitting elastic cap, usually of rubber, worn to keep the hair dry while swimming and bathing. Historical Examples Amy made a face at him, settled her bathing cap more firmly, and looked at Jessie. The Campfire Girls on Station Island Margaret Penrose The women have to wear a sort of bathing cap over their […]

  • Bathing machine

    a small bathhouse on wheels formerly used as a dressing room and in which bathers could also be transported from the beach to the water. Historical Examples I’ve had a summer of the British seaside, the bathing machine and the German band. The Letters of Henry James (volume I) Henry James There is some question […]

  • Bathing suit

    a garment worn for swimming. Contemporary Examples I guess it was a bathing suit because it was a bright color. My Friend Justin Feldman Martin London September 27, 2011 Feeling no need to expose her child to this bimbo in a bathing suit, Julie had banned them from her household. Confessions of a Barbie Freak […]

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