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[bath, bahth] /bæθ, bɑθ/
noun, plural baths
[bath z, bahth z, baths, bahths] /bæðz, bɑðz, bæθs, bɑθs/ (Show IPA)
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.
  1. the depressed hearth of a steelmaking furnace.
  2. 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.
verb (used with or without object), bathed, bathing. Chiefly British.
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.
Origin of bath1
before 900; Middle English; Old English bæth; cognate with Old Frisian beth, Old Saxon, Old Norse bath, German Bad; < Germanic *bátha-n what is warmed, akin to Old High German bājan (German bähen), Swedish basa to warm; pre-Germanic *bheH- to warm, past participle *bhH-to-
Related forms
bathless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for take a bath


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)


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
  1. a vessel in which something is immersed to maintain it at a constant temperature, to process it photographically, electrolytically, etc, or to lubricate it
  2. the liquid used in such a vessel
(Brit) to wash in a bath
Word Origin
Old English bæth; compare Old High German bad, Old Norse bath; related to Swedish basa to clean with warm water, Old High German bāen to warm


an ancient Hebrew unit of liquid measure equal to about 8.3 Imperial gallons or 10 US gallons
Word Origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for take a bath



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").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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take a bath in Medicine

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

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

  2. The apparatus used in giving a bath.

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

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for take a bath

take a bath

verb phrase

To suffer a financial or other loss; Go To The Cleaners, take a beating: Is it possible to take a bath on items previously thought to be incapable of depreciation?/ Though the Republicans didn't take a bath, they did not end up breaking even in this election

[1940s+; fr Yiddish, where er haut mikh gefirt in bod arayn, literally ''he led me to the bath,'' means ''he tricked me''; the sense is derived fr the deception of persons reluctant to take a steam bath and have their clothing decontaminated and who hence had to be tricked; probably reinforced by cleaned out and taken to the cleaners as terms for loss of money in gambling or business]


Related Terms

take a bath

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with take a bath

take a bath

Experience serious financial loss, as in The company took a bath investing in that new product. This idiom, which originated in gambling, transfers washing oneself in a bathtub to being “cleaned out” financially. [ ; first half of 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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