Definition of garderobe in US English:



  • 1A lavatory in a medieval building.

    • ‘The tumbledown exterior walls were smothered with moss and ivy, and many of the original features, including fragments from the first-floor medieval loo - known as the garderobe - were strewn around the overgrown garden.’
    • ‘Five fragments of shaped animal gut were discovered during the excavation of the garderobe of the keep at Dudley Castle, which had been filled in in 1647.’
    • ‘For three days Kieran left the bed only to hobble down the hallway to the garderobe, leaning heavily on Michael's arm, shuffling in the remnants of his torn leather shoes.’
    • ‘We find the garderobe, lift the seat, and climb into the latrine shaft.’
    • ‘People used to hang their clothes in a garderobe, a small room over the upper opening of the dross shoot, because the ammonia from urine used to kill lice,’ he said.’
    • ‘Steps within the wall lead up to the living accommodation, a room with fireplace, garderobe, and sink.’
    lavatory, wc, water closet, convenience, public convenience, facilities, urinal, privy, latrine, outhouse, earth closet, jakes
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    1. 1.1 A wardrobe or small storeroom in a medieval building.
      • ‘Even Tallis was unable to keep away, secreting himself inside a garderobe.’
      • ‘After ushering me to the garderobe, she escorted me to one of several free tables.’
      • ‘He threw open the garderobe on the far wall and began riffling through it.’


Late Middle English: French, from garder ‘to keep’ + robe ‘robe, dress’; compare with wardrobe.