[dih-pil-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
noun, plural de·pil·a·to·ries.
  1. a depilatory agent.
  2. such an agent in a mild liquid or cream form for temporarily removing unwanted hair from the body.

Origin of depilatory

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin dēpilātōrius < Latin dēpilā(re) (see depilate) + -tōrius -tory1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for depilatory

Historical Examples of depilatory

British Dictionary definitions for depilatory


  1. able or serving to remove hair
noun plural -ries
  1. a chemical that is used to remove hair from the body
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 depilatory

c.1600, from French dépilatorie (adj.), from Latin depilatus "having one's hair plucked," from de- "completely" (see de-) + pilatus, past participle of pilare "deprive of hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). Earlier in same sense was Depilative. As a noun from c.1600, from French dépilatorie (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

depilatory in Medicine


  1. Having the capability to remove hair.
  1. A preparation in the form of a liquid or cream that is used to remove unwanted hair from the body.epilatory
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.