toilet
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈtɔɪ.lət/, /ˈtɔɪ.lɪt/
Noun

toilet (plural toilets)

  1. (obsolete) A covering of linen, silk, or tapestry, spread over a dressing table in a chamber or dressing room. [17th–19th c.]
  2. (obsolete) The table covered by such a cloth; a dressing table. [17th–19th c.]
    • 1714, Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock, Canto I, lines 121-126:
      And now, unveil’d, the toilet stands display’d,
      Each silver vase in mystic order laid.
  3. (now, historical or archaic) Personal grooming; the process of washing, dressing and arranging the hair. [from 17th c.]
    • 1791, Elizabeth Inchbald, A Simple Story, Oxford 2009, p. 118:
      Against that short evening her toilet was consulted the whole day […] .
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Vintage 1993, page 111:
      Three women got down and standing on the curb they made unabashed toilets, smoothing skirts and stockings, brushing one another's back, opening parcels and donning various finery.
  4. (now, rare, archaic) One's style of dressing#Noun|dressing: dress#Noun|dress, outfit#Noun|outfit. [from 18th c.]
    • 1871, George Eliot [pseudonym; Mary Ann Evans], chapter I, in Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, volume I, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 948783829 ↗, book I (Miss Brooke), page 25 ↗:
      It is so painful in you, Celia, that you will look at human beings as if they were merely animals with a toilette, and never see the great soul in a man's face.
    • 1917, Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge":
      "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."
  5. (archaic) A dressing room. [from 19th c.]
  6. (UK) A room or enclosed area containing a toilet: a bathroom or water closet. [from 19th c.]
    Sorry, I was in the toilet.
    • 2002, Digby Tantam, Psychotherapy and Counselling in Practice: A Narrative Framework, p. 122:
      He would hit her when she cried and, if this did not work, would lock her in the toilet for hours on end.
    • 2014, C.S. Walter, Abandoned Bridges ↗, pp. 105 f. ↗:
      He wet his thumb with saliva pressing on the tongue, ran it up and down faster over the letter 'I' of 'TOILET', the 'ladies#Adjective|LADIES TOILET' was transformed into 'ladies#Noun|LADIES TO LET' in no time.
  7. (NZ) A small secondary lavatory having a toilet and sink but no bathtub or shower.anchor toilet
  8. (obsolete) A chamber pot.
  9. A fixture used for urination and defecation, particularly those with a large bowl and ring-shaped seat which use water to flush the waste material into a septic tank or sewer system. [from 19th c.]
    My toilet backed up. Now the bathroom's flooded.
  10. (figuratively) A very shabby or dirty place. [from 20th c.]
    • 1982, The Mosquito Coast:
      Look around you. It's a toilet.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • Italian: toeletta, toilette, (rare) toletta
  • Portuguese: vestiário
  • Russian: гардеро́бная
  • Spanish: vestidor
Translations Translations Translations Verb

toilet (toilets, present participle toileting; past and past participle toileted)

  1. (dated) To dress and groom oneself
  2. To use the toilet
  3. To assist another (a child etc.) in using the toilet



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