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[luh-treen] /ləˈtrin/
a toilet or something used as a toilet, as a trench in the earth in a camp, or bivouac area.
Origin of latrine
1635-45; < French < Latin lātrīna, short for lavātrīna place for washing, derivative of lavāre to wash Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for latrine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They maintained a sentry of their own, whose duty it was to watch for and report our trips to the latrine.

  • Longs, the latrine at Brasenose, so called because built by Lady Long.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • This latrine is for summer usenot for a week-end camp, you know.

    Natalie: A Garden Scout Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • The word ‘lantine’ on p. 115 is most likely a corruption of ‘latrine’, but has been allowed to stand.

    Broke Edwin A. Brown
  • There was a latrine pit and an open stone hearth and a naked brown man with wild hair and a beard.

    The Syndic C.M. Kornbluth
  • There was no light in the ill-smelling shack that served for a latrine.

    Three Soldiers John Dos Passos
  • It is wonderful what a wholesome effect on a lazy man has the imposition of three days latrine duty!

    Training for the Trenches Leslie Vickers
  • A latrine of this kind must not be placed near any water supply.

    Campward Ho! Unknown
  • He bluntly defined the limited German wit and humor as characteristically born of the latrine.

    Villa Elsa Stuart Henry
British Dictionary definitions for latrine


a lavatory, as in a barracks, camp, etc
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Latin lātrīna, shortened form of lavātrīna bath, from lavāre to wash
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 latrine

c.1300, probably from Latin latrina, contraction of lavatrina "washbasin, washroom," from lavatus, past participle of lavare "to wash" (see lave) + -trina, suffix denoting "workplace." Its reappearance in 1640s is probably a re-borrowing from French; especially of a privy of a camp, barracks, college, hospital, etc. Latrine rumor "baseless gossip" (of the kind that spreads in conversations in latrines) is military slang, first recorded 1918.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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