from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A resort providing therapeutic baths.
  • noun A resort area having mineral springs.
  • noun A fashionable hotel or resort.
  • noun A health spa.
  • noun A tub for relaxation or invigoration, usually including a device for raising whirlpools in the water.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A mineral spring, or the locality in which such springs exist.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A spring or mineral water; -- so called from a place of this name in Belgium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A health resort near a mineral spring or hot spring.
  • noun A trendy or fashionable resort.
  • noun A health club.
  • noun Ireland, slang A clumsy person (see spastic)
  • noun Ireland, slang An idiot
  • noun Ireland, slang A gobshite

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a place of business with equipment and facilities for exercising and improving physical fitness
  • noun a fashionable hotel usually in a resort area
  • noun a health resort near a spring or at the seaside


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After Spa, a resort town of eastern Belgium.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The term is derived from the name of the Belgian town of Spa, where since medieval times illnesses caused by iron deficiency were treated by drinking chalybeate (iron bearing) spring water. In 16th century England the old Roman ideas of medicinal bathing were revived at towns like Bath, and in 1571 William Slingsby who had been to the Belgian town (which he called Spaw) discovered a chalybeate spring in Yorkshire. He built an enclosed well at what became known as Harrogate, the first resort in England for drinking medicinal waters, then in 1596 Dr. Timothy Bright called the resort The English Spaw, beginning the use of the word Spa as a generic description rather than as the place name of the Belgian town. At first this term referred specifically to resorts for water drinking rather than bathing, but this distinction was gradually lost and many spas offer external remedies.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortened form of spastic



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Italian acronym for Società Per Azioni (Joint stock company).

    I'm against globalization. This is why I never drink spa water.

    June 2, 2009