• synonyms


  1. the branch of therapeutics that deals with the curative use of water.
  2. 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.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for hydrotherapy

Historical Examples

  • Hydrotherapy in one or other of its forms may also be utilised.

    Tics and Their Treatment

    Henry Meigne

  • He spoke of hydrotherapy and gymnastic exercises, and called himself a quack.


    Gerhart Hauptmann

  • Much benefit may be derived from the employment of electric currents, and hydrotherapy has also given excellent results.

  • It is much to be regretted that hydrotherapy is not available and is not made use of more generally.

  • The two principal agents at the disposal of the doctor are the bromides and hydrotherapy.

British Dictionary definitions for hydrotherapy


  1. 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
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hydrotherapy in Medicine


  1. External use of water in the medical treatment of certain diseases.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.