Share this entry

Share this page

hydropathy

Line breaks: hy¦drop|athy
Pronunciation: /hʌɪˈdrɒpəθi
 
/

Definition of hydropathy in English:

noun

[mass noun]
The treatment of illness through the use of water, either internally or through external means such as steam baths (not now a part of orthodox medicine). Compare with hydrotherapy.
Example sentences
  • He turned to hydropathy, a Victorian medical fashion in which a patient is given cold showers, steam baths, and wrappings in wet sheets.
  • She was a single mother, and she was exploring all sorts of homeopathy, hydropathy, all those things that people did in those days to try to get well.
  • It jumped from a small local spa to a national one in the middle of the 19th cent. with the popularity of hydropathy.

Origin

mid 19th century: from hydro- 'of water', on the pattern of allopathy and homeopathy.

Derivatives

hydropathic

1
Pronunciation: /hʌɪdrəˈpaθɪk/
adjective
Example sentences
  • She continued her medical lectures and began offering her own hydropathic treatments.
  • He subjected himself uncritically to nonsensical and unpleasant hydropathic ‘cures’.
  • In the 19th century this pudding seems to have been known as ‘hydropathic pudding’ because it was served at health resorts where pastry was forbidden.

hydropathist

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Above all, the hydropathists reminded us of the inseparable relationship that exists between good health and pure water.
  • We emerge, spluttering and gasping from a genuine cold salt-water bath, such as the hydropathists have no idea of.
  • Other alternatives included herbalist doctors, who only used plants and plant extracts in their treatments, and hydropathists, who promoted water cures.

Definition of hydropathy in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…