Definition of toilet noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈtɔɪlət//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɔɪlət//
    Rooms in a house, House equipment
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  1. 1  [countable] a large bowl attached to a pipe that you sit on or stand over when you get rid of waste matter from your body Have you flushed the toilet? (British English) I need to go to the toilet (= use the toilet). a toilet seat toilet facilities Do you need the toilet? See related entries: House equipment
  2. 2  (British English) (North American English bathroom) [countable] a room containing a toilet Every flat has its own bathroom and toilet. Who's in the toilet? See related entries: Rooms in a house
  3. 3  (British English) [countable] (also toilets [plural]) a room or small building containing several toilets, each in a separate smaller room public toilets Could you tell me where the ladies' toilet is, please? British/​Americantoilet / bathroom In British English, but not in North American English, the room that has a toilet in it is usually referred to as a toilet. This room in people’s houses can also be called the lavatory, or informally, the loo. An extra downstairs toilet in a house can be called the cloakroom. In public places, especially on signs, the words toilets, Gents (for men’s toilets) or Ladies (for women’s toilets) are used for a room or small building containing several toilets. You might also see WC or Public Conveniences on some signs. In North American English the room that contains a toilet is usually called the bathroom, never the toilet. A room with a toilet in a public place can also be called a restroom, ladies’ room, women’s room or men’s room. Washroom is also used, especially in Canada.
  4. 4[uncountable] (old-fashioned) the process of washing and dressing yourself, arranging your hair, etc.
  5. Word Originmid 16th cent.: from French toilette ‘cloth, wrapper’, diminutive of toile ‘cloth, web’, from Latin tela ‘web’. The word originally denoted a cloth used as a wrapper for clothes; then (in the 17th cent.) a cloth cover for a dressing table, the articles used in dressing, and the process of dressing, later also of washing oneself (sense (4)). In the 19th cent. the word came to denote a dressing room, and, in the US, one with washing facilities; hence, a lavatory (early 20th cent.).Extra examples He flushed the letter down the toilet. I need to go to the toilet. Someone’s forgotten to flush the toilet. The caravan is equipped with a sink and a flush toilet. There was a communal toilet on the landing for the four flats. Could you tell me where the ladies’ toilet is, please? The toilets are located in the entrance area. Toilet facilities for the disabled are available. Who’s in the toilet?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: toilet