Definition of bathe in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Wash by immersing one's body in water.

    • ‘These include some very sensible measures such as to shower rather than bathe and to use buckets rather than hosepipes when washing cars.’
    • ‘He is telling residents that it is OK to bathe with the water, but don't drink it.’
    • ‘For most of them, a room of their own, where they can bathe, wash their clothes and sleep in their own bed every night, with a fridge and a hot plate and a door they can lock, would be Eden.’
    • ‘I can't wait to go home and bathe and wash my hair.’
    • ‘People used the same water to bathe, wash their cows and drink,’ Bascombe related.’
    • ‘I wish we were permitted to bathe in fresh water, but I suppose they do need to save it all for the sick.’
    • ‘Children washed clothes and bathed in the waters.’
    • ‘Patients should bathe and wash their hair before they come into hospital.’
    • ‘Once these people had barely enough water to drink or bathe in.’
    • ‘Residents used to bathe with the water but had to stop due to skin irritations.’
    • ‘But what if the upstream community wants to use the water to bathe and wash clothes, and the result will be a shortage of drinking water for the downstream community?’
    • ‘He then disappears suddenly before Jack and Ralph themselves go off to the water hole to bathe, assuming that Simon has gone there as well.’
    • ‘Pagans bathe in salt water, burn sage, sweep away negative energy, etc., all in the belief they are ridding themselves or their sacred space of negativity.’
    • ‘After a hard day's work, we bathe in salted water.’
    • ‘In other news, I got to bathe in running water tonight!’
    • ‘Boiling water had been brought to the room before their arrival, and by the time they wanted to bathe, the water had cooled.’
    • ‘People bathe in the water, colourful saris and white dhotis fluttering in the breeze.’
    • ‘It was very rare to obtain even a little hot water with which to bathe.’
    • ‘We have to rely on the generosity of neighbours with water tanks to get water to cook and bathe after a hard day's work.’
    • ‘So great is my fear of water that I bathe only once a week, and only in the form of a brief shower, never in the bathtub.’
    have a bath, take a bath, wash, clean, soak, shower, douche
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Soak or wipe gently with liquid to clean or soothe.
      ‘she bathed and bandaged my knee’
      • ‘The women poured potions from several bottles and began gently to bathe and wash his body.’
      • ‘She bathes his feet and begins to move upward when Odysseus realizes that he has an old scar she will recognize.’
      • ‘Soak or bathe the affected part in vinegar or isopropyl alcohol for thirty minutes or until the pain is relieved.’
      • ‘He dipped the cloth into the warm water and softly bathed my sore feet.’
      • ‘At Mrs. J's direction, Sara propped his legs up on a couple of down pillows, covered him snugly and bathed his forehead with a cool washcloth.’
      • ‘Use cotton wool, or a pad for removing make-up, to soak up this mix and gently bathe the eyes.’
      • ‘She bathes the ulcerated foot of a small child at Madam Carr's orphanage.’
      • ‘The feet should be bathed frequently and all areas around the toes dried thoroughly.’
      • ‘Well I am exhausted and parts of me really hurt and I have to have some strange lady bathe me out of a bucket.’
      • ‘If there is no bathtub, dissolve one ounce of Epsom salts in a pint of warm water and bathe the body all over with the mixture.’
      • ‘Hop Sing continued to gently bathe the wound; although there was little point it offered some comfort and hope to the young man.’
      • ‘It was with this that Hannah gently bathed Riko's face and neck, then buttoned his pajama top back up when she had finished.’
      • ‘After meals, gently bathe the site with warm salt water (one teaspoon of table salt to a glass).’
      • ‘Gavin was under the shade of a tree and Ariel brought cold water from the stream to bathe his head.’
      • ‘The masseuse bathes my feet then unlocks a few facial pressure points while I succumb to the ambient flute music and scents of clove and ylang-ylang oil.’
      cleanse, clean, wash, rinse, wet, moisten
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American with object Wash (someone) in a bath.
      ‘they bathed the baby’
      • ‘Depending on your dog's lifestyle and breed, you will probably want to bathe him every month or two.’
      • ‘Anyway, with my terrier, sometimes I bathe her to wash the allergens off.’
      • ‘While I bathe my children, I edit the Sunday bulletin.’
      • ‘I also used to wash her feet when I couldn't bathe her fully.’
      • ‘Apparently there were stories about him telling the nannies, you know, and the nurses and things, how to bathe the children and so forth.’
      • ‘At night the couple share bedtime duties: Bill bathes the children, Yvonne gets them into their pajamas, and both tuck them into bed.’
      • ‘Don't allow pets in areas where food is prepared or handled, and don't bathe your pet or clean aquariums in the kitchen sink or bathtub.’
      • ‘No one ever taught me how to actually bathe a baby!’
      • ‘Some parents bathe their children separately in the interests of both safety and one-on-one time.’
      • ‘In the naming ritual, the grandmother kneels and washes the mother's hair, then bathes the baby.’
      • ‘After having your upholstery and carpeting cleaned, it is important to bathe your dog regularly to prevent this problem from recurring.’
      • ‘The next morning, the nurses bathe her, feed her a tasty breakfast, and set her in a chair at a window overlooking a lovely flower garden.’
      • ‘How often you bathe your baby depends on the baby's age and the time of year.’
      • ‘We both play with her, make her meals, bathe her, put her to bed.’
      • ‘He also knew he would have to bathe her; hopefully Alexia would have something Isobel could wear for a bit.’
      • ‘Billy takes the dog home, feeds him, bathes him, and gives him a place to sleep.’
      • ‘She tells him that Odysseus will not come back and calls her maids in to bathe the beggar and give him finer clothing.’
      • ‘We bring food, bathe them, cut their hair and clean their homes for them,’ Sinan said.’
      • ‘Miss Gage, the nurse, talks while she bathes him and takes his temperature.’
      • ‘His coat was still grimy, but she would bathe him later.’
      give ... a bath, wash, clean, soak, douche, soap
      View synonyms
  • 2British Spend time in the ocean or a lake, river, or swimming pool for pleasure.

    • ‘A million Hindus a year, from all over India, pilgrimage to this, the most sacred spot on India's most sacred river, to bathe in and to drink the water.’
    • ‘Summer now exists only as a vague memory, a time when all was warm and I bathed in lakes and pools and kissed and danced (possibly).’
    • ‘Will he have to bathe in the river by the light of the full moon as well?’
    • ‘Both men bathed in the lake, enjoying a good swim in the early morning sun, then broke their fast with the leftovers from dinner before packing up the plane to head back to the complex.’
    • ‘I asked a woman who was bathing in the river, ‘Whose house is that on the riverbank?’’
    • ‘‘Fair enough,’ Troy answered and wandered outside the shelter to bathe in the river.’
    • ‘As she went on to the creek and its pools where she could bathe, I took from my pack my Penguin edition of Don Quixote.’
    • ‘What would happen if I went to bathe in that river?’
    • ‘She climbed down the steps to bathe in the river, fully clad.’
    • ‘Seton was but a small town, a fisherman's village where my friends and I would play and bathe in the waters.’
    • ‘In their time off, the soldiers bathed in the river and gratefully supplemented their tasteless rations with local fruit and cheeses given to them by thankful nuns from the convent they guarded.’
    • ‘Finches love water and will bathe up to three times a day.’
    • ‘They bathe in a nearby river and then leave again.’
    • ‘The sea was just a half a mile south of the fort and some men made plans to bathe in its waters tomorrow, while others just wanted to drink and eat and remain by the fires.’
    • ‘It was held that one should not dig, bathe, swim or engage in anything in any activity on May Day, which might seem to have magical powers!’
    • ‘Both men and donkeys stepped into the cool waters of the river, bathed and then spent some time under the green shady trees.’
    • ‘I would land from time to time and swim and bathe in the lake and watch as white birds lifted from the water and soared off to the clouds.’
    • ‘Her inhabitants drive out to ski on slopes, to bathe in lakes, to climb to sacred sites.’
    • ‘Having just bathed ceremonially in the pool, men were drying their long, long hair in the sun.’
    • ‘Failing that, there's always a lake to bathe in.’
    swim, go swimming, take a dip, dip, splash around
    View synonyms
  • 3with object Suffuse or envelop in something.

    ‘the park lay bathed in sunshine’
    ‘mussels bathed in garlic butter’
    • ‘Tim stepped through into the light and allowed its warmth to bathe him.’
    • ‘The New York Times reported on one such technique in which foods are bathed in a liquid solution of water and protein.’
    • ‘Night has fallen and the moon bathes him in a silvery glow.’
    • ‘And at winter dusk, sky and snow are bathed in delicate colours which linger for hours.’
    • ‘Wiley bathes his figures in a vibrant red glow, as if the background color were actually radiant.’
    • ‘On a sunny Sunday that is unseasonably warm, the Pawson household is bathed in light and filled with the smell of roasting lamb.’
    • ‘It bathes us in its own sad aura of humiliation, and makes us feel grimly disappointed.’
    • ‘Sunlight streamed in and bathed Kami with its glow.’
    • ‘Kita was immediately bathed in a pool of white light.’
    suffuse, envelop, permeate, cover, pervade, wash, saturate, imbue, fill, load, impregnate, inform, steep, colour
    View synonyms


Old English bathian, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German baden.