Community Comment

A Word A Day -- balneology

Good morning Netizens...

March 31, 2013

Word of the Day

  • balneology
  • audio pronunciation
  • \bal-nee-AH-luh-jee\


: the science of the therapeutic use of baths

Balneology is used at the spa as a means of treating injured muscles.

"Fortunately, our collection contains a large number of items relating to balneology, the science of baths and bathing, including pamphlets from hot spring resorts across the United States from the late 1800s and early 1900s." — From an article posted February 12, 2013 at


"Sure, the hot water feels good. Sure, the massage is nice. But it goes beyond that, advocates say." So wrote Ellen Creager in an article published on February 18, 2001 in the Detroit Free Press. The healing powers of mineral baths have long been touted by advocates like those mentioned by Creager. Though we've had the word "balneology" for just over 130 years, this method of treating aching muscles, joint pain, and skin ailments goes back to ancient times. Proponents of the science of bath therapy created the name "balneology" from the Latin word "balneum" ("bath") and the combining form "-logy" ("science"). Today, some medical institutes in Europe have departments of balneology. Modern "balneologists" impart their knowledge to, or themselves serve as, "balneotherapists," who apply their "balneotherapy" to clients.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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