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The toilet of Venus (François Boucher)


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From French toilette, 'small cloth', diminutive of toile, 'cloth'; a cloth used to protect garments when making up the hair or shaving.





toilet ({{{1}}})
Western toilet
Asian squat toilet
Ancient Roman toilets
Outdoor toilet (an outhouse)
  1. (archaic) Personal grooming; washing, dressing etc.
    1917 "It is a quarter-past two," he said. "Your telegram was dispatched about one. But no one can glance at your toilet and attire without seeing that your disturbance dates from the moment of your waking." — Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge".
    1917Reports from abroad and from this country indicate that great good has been accomplished in infectious diseases and in catarrhal conditions of the respiratory tract by so-called toilet of the mouth, nose, and throat. — US Army, "Circular Letter, Surgeon General’s Office, March 22, 1918", here.
  2. A dressing room.
  3. A room or enclosed cubicle containing a lavatory, e.g., a bathroom or water closet (w.c.).
    1906 there were also tons of garbage festering in the sun, and the greasy laundry of the workers hung out to dry, and dining rooms littered with food and black with flies, and toilet rooms that were open sewers. — Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Chapter 26.
    When feasible, place the toilet near the river's edge to encourage urination in the river unless there is adequate volume for urination in the toilet. US National Parks Service.
  4. A lavatory or device for depositing human waste and then flushing it away with water.
    EPA is currently developing the specification for high-efficiency toilets. All HETs that meet WaterSense criteria for efficiency and performance will be eligible to receive a label once EPA finalizes the specification.US Environmental Protection Agency.
  5. Other similar devices, such as squat toilets, as in Japan or the Middle East.
  6. (figuratively) A shabby or dirty place, especially, a lounge/bar/pub/tavern.
    1982 Look around you. It's a toilet. — Harrison Ford to River Phoenix in w:The Mosquito Coast.

Usage notes

Before the 20th century, toilet universally referred to personal grooming, bathing and washing combing or arranging one's hair, shaving, etc., a sense preserved today in toiletry 'personal grooming item'. Nowadays, it is mostly used to indicate a lavatory. "Toilet of the mouth", however, is still is use by oral surgeons.

Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also



toilet n.

  1. toilet (room containing lavatory and lavatory)
  2. men's room / ladies' room

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