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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.
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 latrines
  • The stench was especially bad at night when they camped near their newly dug latrines.
  • We were taught how to dig latrines and began getting more food, even milk.
  • One aid shortfall that the film focuses on is provision of latrines.
  • Three species turn their pitchers into latrines for tree-shrews.
  • There are only pit latrines, no electricity or showers are available and water is only available with a hand pump.
  • With blacks in camp, white soldiers were spared from degrading manual tasks such as digging ditches for latrines.
  • The campsite areas have tent pads, fire grates and wilderness latrines.
  • Raccoon latrines consist of piles of raccoon feces of different ages.
  • Parasite eggs can remain viable in raccoon latrines for years.
  • latrines and toilets play an important role in any sanitation system.
British Dictionary definitions for latrines


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 latrines



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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