In reference to lavatories, an indirection developed under the influence of powder one's nose (“euphemism for use a toilet”). Compare boudoir.
powder room (plural powder rooms)
- A room used to store gunpowder, particularly (historical) on a ship equipped with cannon.
- Are you insane? Don't take a candle into the powder room!
- (historical) A room used to powder hair and wigs.
- (originally US, euphemistic) Synonym of ladies' room: a lavatory intended for use by women.
- If you'll excuse me, I need to visit the powder room to seeing a man about a dog.
- 1927, E.A. Park, New Backgrounds for a New Age, Ch. ix, page 173:
- They are the authors of the small powder room in the Hofbrau House at Broadway and Fifty-third Street, New York, a very modern creation.
- (euphemistic) Synonym of half bath: a small room with a toilet and sink but no bathtub or shower.
- "powder room, n.", in the Oxford English Dictionary (2006), Oxford: Oxford University Press.