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").
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.
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]