From Middle English lavatorie, from Late Latin lavātōrium, from Latin lavāre (“to wash”) + -ium (forming places related to an activity). Doublet of lavatorium. As a place to pan gold, via Spanish lavadero. See also lave.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈlæv.ə.tɹi/, /ˈlæv.ə.təɹ.i/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈlæv.ə.tɔɹ.i/
lavatory (plural lavatories)
- A vessel or fixture for washing, particularly:
- 1382, Bible (Wycliffe), Exod. 30:18:
- A laver: a washbasin.
- (archaic) A bathtub.
- (Christianity) A piscina: the basin used for washing communion vessels.
- (Christianity) A lavabo: the basin used for washing one's hands before handling the Eucharist.
- (Christianity, usually figurative) A baptismal font: the basin used for baptism, used figuratively for the washing away of sins.
- (construction, interior design) A plumbing fixture used for washing: a sink.
- Their 'bathroom' included a toilet and a lavatory but no bath.
- 2005, Michael W. Litchfield, Renovation, page 325:
- Lavatories (bathroom sinks) are available in a blizzard of colors, materials, and styles.
- 2011, Sharon Koomen Harmon et al., The Codes Guidebook for Interiors, page 288：:
- Anywhere a water closet is used, a lavatory (ie, hand-washing sink) must also be installed.
- Handwashing as an act, particularly
- 1513, Robert Fabyan, last will and testament:
- (obsolete) A liquid used in washing; a lotion; a wash; a rinse.
- (dated) A washroom: a room used for washing the face and hands.
- 2003, Gauvin A. Bailey, Between Renaissance and Baroque: Jesuit Art in Rome, 1565-1610, page 61:
- Even the lavatory, a vestibule to the refectory through which the novices would pass on their way to the recreation room, boasted a painting cycle.
- (euphemistic) A room containing a toilet: a bathroom (US) or WC (UK).
- 2003, Rob Rachowiecki et al., Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, page 44:
- People needing to use the lavatory often ask to use the baño in a restaurant; toilet paper is rarely available, so the experienced traveler always carries a personal supply.
- 2014, “Verbatim Comments”, in Corey, Canapary & Galanis, editor, Caltrain 2014 On-Board Survey, Caltrain, retrieved 2023-07-30, page 1:
- THE RESTROOM ON THE OLDER TRAINS ARE TOO SMALL FOR AN ADULT. ONE CAN'T USE THE TOILET WITHOUT CONSTANTLY ELBOWING THE WALL. AIRPLANES HAVE LARGER LAVATORIES AND A BETTER USEABLE FAUCET.
- (UK, New England) A plumbing fixture for urination and defecation: a toilet.
- 1997, Slavoj Žižek, The Plague of Fantasies, page 4:
- In a traditional German lavatory, the hole in which shit disappears after we flush water is way in front, so that the shit is first laid out for us to sniff at and inspect for traces of some illness; in the typical French lavatory, on the contrary, the hole is in the back - that is, the shit is supposed to disappear as soon as possible; finally, the Anglo-Saxon (English or American) lavatory presents a kind of synthesis, a mediation between these two opposed poles - the basin is full of water so that the shit floats in it - visible, but not to be inspected.
- (dated) A place to wash clothes: a laundry.
- (obsolete) A place where gold is panned.
- (obsolete) A paved room in a mortuary where corpses are kept under a shower of disinfecting fluid.
- (basin for washing hands): See washbasin
- (fixture for washing hands): See sink
- (room with a toilet): See Thesaurus:bathroom
- (toilet): See Thesaurus:toilet
lavatory (not comparable)
- (dated) Washing, or cleansing by washing.
- “lavatory”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “lavatory”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
lavatory m (plural lavatories)
- “lavatory”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
- Alternative form of