Meaning of lavatory in English:


Pronunciation /ˈlavət(ə)ri/

See synonyms for lavatory

Translate lavatory into Spanish

nounplural noun lavatories

  • 1A room, building, or cubicle containing a toilet or toilets.

    ‘he locked himself in the downstairs lavatory’
    • ‘public lavatories’
    toilet, bathroom, facilities, urinal, privy, latrine, outhouse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British A flush toilet.
      ‘she flushed the lavatory’
      • ‘I needed to go to the lavatory’
    2. 1.2North American A sink or washbasin in a bathroom or toilet.
      ‘Do not put a plugged-in electrical appliance where it can fall or be pulled into water, as in the kitchen sink, bathroom lavatory or tub.’
      • ‘I swallowed my tears and washed my face in the small sink in the adjacent lavatory.’
      • ‘They can be fabricated with near-invisible seams, and some brands offer a range of sinks and lavatories which can be fabricated integrally with the tops.’
      • ‘Max walked around the bed and went to the lavatory sink.’
      • ‘A lavatory sink is a bathroom sink that sits within a cabinet fixture.’
      • ‘All toilets and lavatories are adjustable in height.’


Late Middle English from late Latin lavatorium ‘place for washing’, from Latin lavare ‘to wash’. The word originally denoted something in which to wash, such as a bath or piscina, later (mid 17th century) a room with washing facilities; the current sense dates from the 19th century.