lavatory

noun
lav·​a·​to·​ry | \ ˈla-və-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce lavatory (audio) , British -və-t(ə-)rē\
plural lavatories

Definition of lavatory

1 : a vessel (such as a basin) for washing especially : a fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainpipe for washing
2 : a room with conveniences for washing and usually with one or more toilets the airplane's lavatory

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lavatory

lavatory adjective

Synonyms for lavatory

Synonyms

bath, bathroom, bog [British], can, cloakroom [British], comfort station, convenience [chiefly British], head, john, latrine, loo [chiefly British], potty, restroom, toilet, washroom, water closet

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of lavatory in a Sentence

a wide choice of lavatories on sale at plumbing supply stores the school's filthy, broken-down lavatories were a disgrace

Recent Examples on the Web

Some passengers even make shoeless trips to the lavatory. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Video: Man using bare feet on inflight screen draws disgusted response," 18 July 2019 All cabins will feature Airbus' much vaunted AirSpace cabin improvements, which include larger overhead bins, new lighting options, and changes to the lavatories. Jeremy Dwyer-lindgren, USA TODAY, "TAP Portugal uses 'proving flights' to show off new Airbus A330neo," 24 June 2018 Use a hand towel to flush and open/close the lavatory door. Luzanne Otte, Town & Country, "Patricia Altschul's Very Specific Guide to Traveling in Style," 18 May 2019 To ease that congestion, entire city blocks in Varanasi were being razed to make way for gardens, lavatories, shops. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "One of India's holiest cities is being reborn. Not everyone is happy," 21 Mar. 2019 Satisfied the surfaces are clean(er) and having relocated the airplane pillow/blanket to the overhead compartment, Altschul visits the lavatory to wash her hands before touching anything in her carry on and settling in for the flight. Luzanne Otte, Town & Country, "Patricia Altschul's Very Specific Guide to Traveling in Style," 18 May 2019 One day the boy was attacked by other students in the school lavatory, and the father got a call to pick him up from the hospital. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Obama’s Racial Preferences Made Schools Dangerous," 25 Dec. 2018 Over the summer, a handful of teachers and staffers at Warren Middle School in Forney volunteered and broke out art supplies to decorate the girls and boys lavatories with positive, uplifting messages. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Texas middle school's 'bathroom inspiration project' aims to empower students," 13 Sep. 2018 Twin-aisle planes, typically used for international flights, are required to have an accessible lavatory. Joshua Brockman, New York Times, "For Disabled Travelers, Technology Helps Smooth the Way. But Not All of It.," 25 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of lavatory

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lavatory

Middle English lavatorie, from Medieval Latin lavatorium, from Latin lavare to wash — more at lye

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lavatory

Dictionary Entries near lavatory

Lavatera

lavation

lavatorial

lavatory

lavatory paper

lave

laveer

Statistics for lavatory

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lavatory

The first known use of lavatory was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lavatory

lavatory

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lavatory

formal : a room with a toilet and sink
US, technical : a bathroom sink

lavatory

noun
lav·​a·​to·​ry | \ ˈla-və-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce lavatory (audio) \
plural lavatories

Kids Definition of lavatory

1 : a small sink (as in a bathroom)
2 : a room for washing that usually has a toilet

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lavatory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lavatory

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lavatory

Spanish Central: Translation of lavatory

Nglish: Translation of lavatory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lavatory for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lavatory

What made you want to look up lavatory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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