de·​pil·​a·​to·​ry | \ di-ˈpi-lə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce depilatory (audio) \
plural depilatories

Definition of depilatory

: an agent for removing hair, wool, or bristles

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Other Words from depilatory

depilatory adjective

Examples of depilatory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "Why women feel pressured to shave," 3 Mar. 2020 Another good option for your arms: depilatory creams. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "Your Ultimate Body Hair Removal Guide," 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, "Q& Triple A: I have little hairs around my chin and upper lip. Help!," 10 Jan. 2011 Another good option for your arms: depilatory creams. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "Your Ultimate Body Hair Removal Guide," 17 July 2018 Another hair-removal method many folks know and love: depilatory cream. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "The Ultimate Body Hair Removal Guide," 26 Oct. 2017 Cream depilatories like Nair and Veet can also make the bare skin vulnerable to burning. Niree Noel, Allure, "How The Sun Damages Your Beauty Products And Treatments," 21 Aug. 2017 Instead, members come to the Wax Club on Chambers Street for hair removal, paying $89 each month, plus tax and gratuities, for unlimited depilatory services. Rachel Felder, New York Times, "At Salons and Spas, Membership Plans Catch On," 27 Dec. 2016

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.

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First Known Use of depilatory

1606, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for depilatory

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The first known use of depilatory was in 1606

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Statistics for depilatory

Cite this Entry

“Depilatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for depilatory


How to pronounce depilatory (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of depilatory

: a substance that removes body hair you do not want


de·​pil·​a·​to·​ry | \ di-ˈpil-ə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce depilatory (audio) \

Medical Definition of depilatory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having the power to remove hair



Medical Definition of depilatory (Entry 2 of 2)

: a cosmetic for the temporary removal of undesired hair

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