Definition of depilatory in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˈpiləˌtôrē/


Used to remove unwanted hair.
Example sentences
  • Developed and tested in a government lab 10 years before, the dehairing system removed hair and dirt from beef carcasses by spraying them with depilatory chemicals as they moved through a massive chamber.
  • In the ‘mountain humbled’ towns of the Andes, he stumbles upon a scheme to import the sap of a bobohuariza tree and market it as an organic depilatory treatment.
  • According to beauty experts, the number of men seeking the painful depilatory treatment has soared 10-fold over the past five years.

noun (plural depilatories)

A cream or lotion for removing unwanted hair.
Example sentences
  • Many hand and body lotions, facial creams, soaps and depilatories contain honey, which can be used on sensitive skin.
  • If this is a concern for you, remove the hair with wax, depilatories or electrolysis.
  • The usual remedies for unwanted hair include plucking, shaving, waxing or chemical depilatories, but all of them are temporary, as none damage the hair follicle.


Early 17th century: from Latin depilatorius, from depilat- 'stripped of hair', from the verb depilare (see depilate).

  • pile from Old English:

    Three different Latin words lie behind three different types of pile. Pile meaning ‘heap’ comes via Old French, from Latin pilapillar, pier’. The association with money in make one's pile is from the phrase ‘pile of wealth’ (Shakespeare Henry VIII: What piles of wealth hath he accumulated To his own portion?). Pile meaning a ‘heavy post’ driven into the ground to support a superstructure was pīl ‘dart, arrow’, and ‘pointed stake’ in Old English. It was adopted early into Germanic languages from Latin pilum ‘(heavy) javelin’. The pile of a carpet was first recorded in the sense ‘downy feather’. It comes from Latin pilus ‘hair’, found also in depilatory (early 17th century). The current sense of pile dates from the mid 16th century.

Words that rhyme with depilatory

dilatory, oscillatory

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·pil·a·to·ry

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