AskDefine | Define natatorium

Dictionary Definition

natatorium n : pool that provides a facility for swimming; "`swimming bath' is a British term" [syn: swimming pool, swimming bath] [also: natatoria (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From natatorium, noun use of the neuter singular of natatorius ‘natatory, for swimming’.




  1. A swimming pool, especially indoors.
    • 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 226:
      A sunken chamber almost like a natatorium at some hot-springs resort, so cool and dim that you forgot after a while about the desert waiting out there to resume for you as soon as you stepped back into it. . . .

Extensive Definition

A natatorium is, strictly speaking, a structurally separate building containing a swimming pool. In Latin, a cella natatoriua was a swimming pool in its own building; thus, the sense was much as now although it is sometimes also used to refer to any indoor pool even if not housed in a dedicated building (e.g. a pool in a school or a fitness club). It is usually taken for granted that it will also house locker rooms, and perhaps capacity for allied activities, such as a diving tank, facilities for water polo, and so forth. Many colleges and universities have natatoria.
The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium in Honolulu, Hawaii is believed to be the largest salt-water natatorium in the world. Although the pool was closed in 1980 due to health concerns, the structure remains an interesting feature on the eastern end of Waikiki in the shadow of Diamond Head. The natatorium was included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2007 list of most endangered historic sites in the U.S.

Natatorium Lake

The third of the four Galena chain lakes in Washington state, USA. So named because it was used for such purposes by the Mazamas in 1906, according to regulations, the women forenoons and men afternoon.


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