call of nature

noun Informal.
a need to urinate or defecate.

Origin:
1850–55

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

call of nature

Need to urinate or defecate, as in He left to answer the call of nature. This euphemism may be dying out. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
He dropped his trousers, sat down and began answering the call of nature.
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