Originally from French chambre or cabinet de toilette, used for private grooming areas and then euphemistically for the locations of chamber pots and the plumbing fixtures which took their name from the room. Now generally understood as a direct (even impolitely overly direct) reference to the fixtures.
- (historical) A room in which to perform one's toilet, including dressing and grooming, particularly before execution.
- 1800, William Tooke, History of Russia, volume II, page 428:
- We first enter a set of apartments, that are fitted up as toilette-rooms for the ladies.
- 1868 July 18, "Monsieur de Paris" in Every Saturday, Vol. VI, p. 78:
- Before dawn already the executioner repairs to the prison, and signs at the office the certificate by which he vouches for the delivery of the person whom he is to behead. He then enters the so-called toilet-room, a narrow, dark chamber, whither the poor sinner, accompanied by the priest, is soon taken.
- 1961, R.H. van Gulik, chapter VI, in Sexual Life in Ancient China, page 168:
- The wealthy official Shih Ch'ung [sc., Shi Chong]... had more than ten beautiful girls... always stand at attendance in the toilet room to help the guest ‘change clothes’.
- (originally US euphemistic, now sometimes mildly offensive) A room in which to use a toilet: a lavatory.
- 1854, San Francisco Board of Education, Annual Report, page 9:
- The other apartments are for toilet rooms for both sexes, on first and second floors.
- 1895, State of Wisconsin, Laws, page 795:
- To have at least four seat closets placed in the toilet room adjoining the assembly and at least two in the toilet room adjoining the senate.
As a lavatory, the simple term toilet is now generally used for both the fixture and the place, although toilet room is still sometimes encountered where clarity is desired.
- (obsolete room for dressing and grooming): cabinet, chamber
- (lavatory): toilet; lavatory room (dated); see also Thesaurus:bathroom