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n. Archaic
a. A chamber for storing clothes; a wardrobe.
b. The contents of a wardrobe.
2. A private chamber.
3. A latrine built into the exterior wall of a castle or other medieval building.

[Middle English, from Old French : garder, to keep; see guard + robe, robe; see robe.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Furniture) a wardrobe or the contents of a wardrobe
2. a bedroom or private room
3. a privy
[C14: from French, from garder to keep + robe dress, clothing; see wardrobe]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. a wardrobe or its contents.
2. a private room, as a bedroom.
3. (in medieval buildings) a latrine or privy.
[1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French: literally, (it) keeps clothing]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
After breakfast, guests can also learn more about where they are staying with a daily tour of the castle which takes in the battlements; chapel and garderobes (a polite term for a medieval latrine), although they are thankfully decorative rather than functional these days and used to display shields.
There were exposed stone walls, majestic candelabras, suits of armour, tapestries, portraits and 12 garderobes - supposedly the finest remaining example of the posh toilets dating from the Middle Ages.
The castle was a three-storey residence with fireplaces and garderobes - medieval toilets - on each floor.
With no flushable toilets, castles were equipped with special rooms--called garderobes or privies--that had stone or wooden seats with holes cut in the middle.
Our children are too young to enjoy going around stately home type properties, so while Chirk does have some beautiful rooms crammed with fantastic paintings and decor, we skipped these in favour of the Adams Tower with its stone spiral staircases, dark dungeons and "garderobes" (medieval toilets) which provided endless fascination to our three year old!
There's also the opportunity to sample the dubious comforts of medieval garderobes.
From dingy dungeon to terrible torture chamber, murder holes to garderobes, Warwick has all the authentic ingredients of a medieval castle steeped in adventure.