- A basin, with running water and drainage facilities, used for washing the face and hands.
- A room with a wash basin and a toilet, but no bathtub.
- A room containing a toilet or water closet.
- noun a toilet, or a small room containing a toilet
- noun a room with a toilet, usually with a flushing bowl for getting rid of waste matter from the body
- noun a bowl with a seat and a flushing system, for getting rid of waste matter from the body
Origin & History of “lavatory”
The notion of ‘washing’ was represented in prehistoric Indo-European by *lou-, which produced Greek loúein ‘wash’, English lather, and Latin lavāre ‘wash’. this last has been a fruitful source of English words, not all of them as obvious as lavatory, which originally meant simply ‘place or vessel for washing’ (its use for a ‘room containing a water closet’ appears to date from the 19th century). among its relatives are deluge (14th c.), latrine (17th c.) (from a contraction of Latin lavātrīna), laundry, lava (18th c.) (from Italian lava, which originally denoted a ‘stream caused by sudden rain’), lavish (15th c.) (from the metaphorical notion of an ‘outpouring’), and lotion (14th c.). And from Latin luere, the form taken on by lavāre after prefixes, we get ablution (14th c.) and dilute (16th c.). Lavender (15th c.) looks as though it should belong to the same family, but no actual connection has ever been demonstrated.