• synonyms


[luh-vey-boh, -vah-]
See more synonyms for lavabo on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural la·va·boes.
  1. Ecclesiastical.
    1. the ritual washing of the celebrant's hands after the offertory in the Mass, accompanied in the Roman rite by the recitation of Psalm 26:6–12.
    2. the passage recited.
    3. the small towel or the basin used.
  2. (in many medieval monasteries) a large stone basin equipped with a number of small orifices through which water flowed, used for the performance of ablutions.
  3. a washbowl with a spigot-equipped water tank above, both mounted on a wall: now often used for decoration or as a planter.
Show More

Origin of lavabo

First recorded in 1855–60, lavabo is from the Latin word lavābō: I shall wash
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for lavabo

Historical Examples

  • Nothing represented the poverty of the Legion so much as this "lavabo."

    In the Foreign Legion

    Erwin Rosen

  • This building was known, in monastic terminology, as the “Lavabo.”

  • The only portions of the monastery which remain in a fair state of preservation are the Chapter House and the Lavabo.

  • The Lavabo, likewise borrowed from the heathen lustrations, reappears now.

  • The marble Lavabo in the sacristy of San Lorenzo is also a doubtful piece of sculpture.


    David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford

British Dictionary definitions for lavabo


noun plural -boes or -bos mainly RC Church
    1. the ritual washing of the celebrant's hands after the offertory at Mass
    2. (as modifier)lavabo basin; lavabo towel
  1. another name for washbasin
  2. a trough for washing in a convent or monastery
Show More

Word Origin

C19: from Latin: I shall wash, the opening of Psalm 26:6
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