[ hahy-druh-ther-uh-pee ]
/ ˌhaɪ drəˈθɛr ə pi /


the branch of therapeutics that deals with the curative use of water.
the treatment of physical disability, injury, or illness by immersion of all or part of the body in water to facilitate movement, promote wound healing, relieve pain, etc., usually under the supervision of a trained therapist.

Nearby words

  1. hydrosulphurous acid,
  2. hydrosyringomyelia,
  3. hydrotaxis,
  4. hydrotheca,
  5. hydrotherapeutics,
  6. hydrothermal,
  7. hydrothermal vent,
  8. hydrothionemia,
  9. hydrothionuria,
  10. hydrothorax

Origin of hydrotherapy

First recorded in 1875–80; hydro-1 + therapy

Related formshy·dro·ther·a·pist, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hydrotherapy

British Dictionary definitions for hydrotherapy


/ (ˌhaɪdrəʊˈθɛrəpɪ) /


med the treatment of certain diseases by the external use of water, esp by exercising in water in order to mobilize stiff joints or strengthen weakened musclesAlso called: water cure Compare hydropathy
Derived Formshydrotherapic (ˌhaɪdrəʊθɪˈræpɪk), adjectivehydrotherapist, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hydrotherapy



1876, from hydro- "water" + therapy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for hydrotherapy


[ hī′drə-thĕrə-pē ]


External use of water in the medical treatment of certain diseases.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.