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  1. A·dolf [ey-dolf; German ah-dawlf] /ˈeɪ dɒlf; German ˈɑ dɔlf/, 1870–1933, Austrian architect and writer.
  2. Anita,1893–1981, U.S. writer.


noun, plural loos.
  1. a card game in which forfeits are paid into a pool.
  2. the forfeit or sum paid into the pool.
  3. the fact of being looed.
verb (used with object), looed, loo·ing.
  1. to subject to a forfeit at loo.

Origin of loo1

1665–75; short for lanterloo < Dutch lanterlu < French lantur(e)lu, special use of meaningless refrain of an old song


noun, plural loos. British Informal.
  1. toilet.

Origin of loo2

First recorded in 1935–40; of uncertain origin


verb (used with or without object), looed, loo·ing, noun, plural loos. Chiefly Northern U.S.
  1. low2.


noun, plural loos, verb (used with or without object), looed, loo·ing.
  1. love.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for loos

Historical Examples

  • I learnt from him that things were not going so well north of Loos.


    John French, Viscount of Ypres

  • Early in October, 1915, had come the news of the British advance at Loos.

  • A wiring party in the Loos salient—twelve men just out from home.

  • In the battle of Loos however all the interest was centred on men, men personally.

  • At the time of the Loos attack it did really seem that the Big Push had come.

    G. H. Q.

    Frank Fox

British Dictionary definitions for loos


  1. Adolf (ˈadolf). 1870–1933, Austrian architect: a pioneer of modern architecture, noted for his plain austere style in such buildings as Steiner House, Vienna (1910)


noun plural loos
  1. British an informal word for lavatory (def. 1)

Word Origin

C20: perhaps from French lieux d'aisance water closet


noun plural loos
  1. a gambling card game
  2. a stake used in this game

Word Origin

C17: shortened form of lanterloo, via Dutch from French lanterelu, originally a meaningless word from the refrain of a popular song


  1. a variant spelling of lou
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for loos



"lavatory," 1940, but perhaps 1922, probably from French lieux d'aisances, "lavatory," literally "place of ease," picked up by British servicemen in France during World War I. Or possibly a pun on Waterloo, based on water closet.



type of card game, 1670s, short for lanterloo (1660s), from French lanturelu, originally (1620s) the refrain of a popular comic song; according to French sources the refrain expresses a mocking refusal or an evasive answer and was formed on the older word for a type of song chorus, turelure; apparently a jingling reduplication of loure "bagpipe" (perhaps from Latin lura "bag, purse").

From its primary signification -- a kind of bagpipe inflated from the mouth -- the word 'loure' came to mean an old dance, in slower rhythm than the gigue, generally in 6-4 time. As this was danced to the nasal tones of the 'loure,' the term 'loure' was gradually applied to any passage meant to be played in the style of the old bagpipe airs. ["Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians," London, 1906]

The refrain sometimes is met in English as turra-lurra.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper