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[beyth] /beɪð/
verb (used with object), bathed, bathing.
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.
verb (used without object), bathed, bathing.
to take a bath or sunbath.
to swim for pleasure.
to be covered or surrounded as if with water.
British. the act of bathing, especially in the sea, a lake, or a river; a swimming bath.
Origin of bathe
before 1000; Middle English bath(i)en, Old English bathian, equivalent to bæth bath1 + -ian infinitive suffix
Related forms
rebathe, verb, rebathed, rebathing.
Can be confused
bath, bathe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bathe
  • The only place to bathe in hot spring water is at the bathhouses.
  • Having evolved in temperate climates, tigers are less tolerant of heat and often bathe in water to cool off.
  • People rely on precipitation for fresh water to drink, bathe, and irrigate crops for food.
  • He is about to drink some of that health-giving water, or to gargle or inhale it or perhaps to bathe in it.
  • People use the river to bathe, wash clothes and drink.
  • To bathe, they boiled water on a coal-burning stove.
  • Some patients may not feel the need to bathe or wash their hair every day.
  • People may also be exposed by inhaling the chemical as they do laundry or bathe with contaminated water.
  • They put the cells into lab dishes and bathe each type in a fluid that prompts them to multiply.
  • Trying to return to the past is as illusory as wanting to bathe in the same river.
British Dictionary definitions for bathe


(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
Derived Forms
bather, noun
Word Origin
Old English bathian; related to Old Norse batha, Old High German badōn
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
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Word Origin and History for bathe

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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