[ dih-pil-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
/ dɪˈpɪl əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i /


capable of removing hair.

noun, plural de·pil·a·to·ries.

a depilatory agent.
such an agent in a mild liquid or cream form for temporarily removing unwanted hair from the body.

Nearby words

  1. depiction,
  2. depicture,
  3. depigmentation,
  4. depilate,
  5. depilation,
  6. depill,
  7. deplane,
  8. deplete,
  9. depleted uranium,
  10. depletion

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for depilatory

British Dictionary definitions for depilatory


/ (dɪˈpɪlətərɪ, -trɪ) /


able or serving to remove hair

noun plural -ries

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

Medicine definitions for depilatory


[ dĭ-pĭlə-tôr′ē ]


Having the capability to remove hair.


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.