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[dih-pil-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /dɪˈpɪl əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
capable of removing hair.
noun, plural depilatories.
a depilatory agent.
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for depilatory
  • In preparing hides for tanning, lime is the chief depilatory.
  • When the researchers removed the wing hairs using depilatory cream, the neurons no longer responded to the air puffs.
  • The waitresses liked to bestow advice-depilatory, pharmacological, chauvinistic.
  • depilatory is a product used to remove unwanted hair.
  • depilatory poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance.
  • depilatory creams can be slightly more effective than razors, but tend to be smelly.
  • Remove hair at the operative site only when necessary and then only by clipping or depilatory agent.
  • Generously apply a depilatory cream to the clipped abdomen.
  • The heated depilatory wax is applied to the skin for the removal of unwanted hair.
  • No hair removal, or hair removal with clippers or depilatory is considered appropriate.
British Dictionary definitions for depilatory


/dɪˈpɪlətərɪ; -trɪ/
able or serving to remove hair
noun (pl) -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
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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
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depilatory in Medicine

depilatory de·pil·a·to·ry (dĭ-pĭl'ə-tôr'ē)
Having the capability to remove hair. n.
A preparation in the form of a liquid or cream that is used to remove unwanted hair from the body. Also called epilatory.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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