de·​pil·​a·​to·​ry di-ˈpi-lə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce depilatory (audio)
plural depilatories
: an agent for removing hair, wool, or bristles
depilatory adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Thousands of Amazon reviewers agree: this depilatory cream is one of the very best. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, 20 May 2022 Thankfully, things have greatly improved since Berry's depilatory days. Jihan Forbes, Allure, 22 Apr. 2021 Before that, removing body hair was something both men and women did -- as far back as the Stone Age, then through ancient Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire -- using seashells, beeswax and various other depilatories. Marianna Cerini, CNN, 3 Mar. 2020 Another good option for your arms: depilatory creams. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, 17 July 2018 Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo, $24.99, comes with a pre-depilatory balm to help prevent irritation. Cristina Mueller, Redbook, 10 Jan. 2011 Another good option for your arms: depilatory creams. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, 17 July 2018 Another hair-removal method many folks know and love: depilatory cream. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, 26 Oct. 2017 Cream depilatories like Nair and Veet can also make the bare skin vulnerable to burning. Niree Noel, Allure, 21 Aug. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depilatory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1606, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of depilatory was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near depilatory

Cite this Entry

“Depilatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​pil·​a·​to·​ry di-ˈpil-ə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce depilatory (audio)
plural depilatories
: a preparation for removing hair, wool, or bristles

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
de·​pil·​a·​to·​ry di-ˈpil-ə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce depilatory (audio)
: having the power to remove hair


2 of 2 noun
: a cosmetic for the temporary removal of undesired hair
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

A Good Old-Fashioned Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?