Definition of toilet in English:


Line breaks: toi¦let
Pronunciation: /ˈtɔɪlɪt


  • 2 [in singular] The process of washing oneself, dressing, and attending to one’s appearance: her toilet completed, she finally went back downstairs
    More example sentences
    • She quickly changed into an older dress and completed a brief toilet.
    washing, bathing, showering; wash, bath, shower; grooming, dressing, make-up
    formal or • humorous ablutions
    dated toilette
    rare lavation, lustration
  • 2.1 [as modifier] Denoting articles used in the process of washing, dressing, and attending to one’s appearance: a bathroom cabinet stocked with toilet articles
    More example sentences
    • The general stock consists of patent medicines of all kinds, proprietary goods, toilet requisites, perfumes, smelling and perfume bottles, and a host of other useful articles.
    • There was a camp canteen where the prisoners could buy cigarettes, toilet articles or canned food.
    • Clearly she will have some luggage (at least a change of clothes and toilet articles) with her, if no maid.
  • 2.2The cleansing of part of a person’s body as a medical procedure.
    More example sentences
    • Peritoneal toilet functions as a surgical adjunct to controlling the initial, proximate source of peritoneal infection
    • Respiratory toilet is encouraged hourly throughout the postoperative period with the aid of an incentive spirometer.
    • PDT treatments were applied to the left mainstem lesion along with debridement and bronchoscopic toilet.

verb (toilets, toileting, toileted)

[with object] (usually as noun toileting) Back to top  
  • 1Assist or supervise (someone, especially an infant or invalid) in using a toilet.
    More example sentences
    • I wouldn't mind toileting a patient if it to be needed done.
    • Mr Ward told us: ‘There is little dignity in being washed, fed, or swung up in a hoist to be toileted.’
    • If asleep, the patient was not toileted or changed.
  • 1.1 [no object] Use a toilet: sufferers may need help with dressing, bathing, and toileting
    More example sentences
    • Your loved one needs more and more help with everyday tasks such as eating, bathing and toileting.
    • I worked on the general medical unit, where about half of 17 men and women were bed-ridden and all but a few needed help with getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing and toileting.
    • They may get lost in their own homes, need help dressing, bathing, and toileting, and fail to remember major parts of their past or understand simple gestures and commands.


go down the toilet

informal Be completely lost or wasted; fail utterly: they didn’t want to see their investment go down the toilet
More example sentences
  • Frankly, our judgment calls seem to be going down the toilet.
  • Alas, the lead singer's attempts to persuade him to remove his shirt for the ladies went down the toilet.
  • There's your last vestige of freedom going down the toilet.


mid 16th century: from French toilette 'cloth, wrapper', diminutive of toile (see toile). The word originally denoted a cloth used as a wrapper for clothes; then (in the 17th century) a cloth cover for a dressing table, the articles used in dressing, and the process of dressing, later also of washing oneself (sense 2 of the noun). In the 19th century the word came to denote a dressing room, and, in the US, one with washing facilities; hence, a lavatory (early 20th century).

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