from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A low cabinet or chest of drawers, often elaborately decorated and usually standing on legs or short feet.
  • n. A movable stand or cupboard containing a washbowl.
  • n. A chair enclosing a chamber pot.
  • n. A toilet.
  • n. A woman's ornate headdress, fashionable around 1700.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A low chest of drawers on short legs.
  • n. A stand for a washbowl and jug.
  • n. A chair containing a chamber pot.
  • n. A toilet.
  • n. A kind of woman's headdress, raising the hair and fore part of the cap to a great height.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of headdress formerly worn by ladies, raising the hair and fore part of the cap to a great height.
  • n. A piece of furniture, so named according to temporary fashion.
  • n. A chest of drawers or a bureau.
  • n. A night stand with a compartment for holding a chamber vessel.
  • n. A kind of close stool.
  • n. A movable sink or stand for a wash bowl, with closet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Accommodating; obliging.
  • n. A large and high head-dress, mounted on a frame of wire, covered with silk, lace, bows of ribbon, etc., worn about the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth.
  • n. Any piece of furniture containing drawers and shelves for holding clothes, handy articles, tools, etc.
  • n. A small piece of furniture containing a chamber-pot below and a drawer and shelf above, and conveniently arranged in a bedroom for necessary purposes.
  • n. A night-stool.
  • n. A procuress; a bawd.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a tall elegant chest of drawers
  • n. a plumbing fixture for defecation and urination


French, from commode, convenient, from Latin commodus; see commodious.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French commode. (Wiktionary)


  • The term commode is still used as another name for the bathroom, or toilet.


  • I presume you mean that flushing toilet paper down the commode is normally an acceptable practice.

    Page 2

  • "I presume you mean that flushing toilet paper down the commode is normally an acceptable practice."

    Page 2

  • The "towers like comets" were doubtless commodes, which were in high fashion in Europe at the beginning of the eighteenth century until about the year 1711, though I have never found that the word commode was used in America.

    Customs and Fashions in Old New England

  • Apart from trying to mimic the shapes and forms used in the 18th century, the commode is also practical with some sort of criss-crossed shelves and cubbyholes where you’ll get to “stick” your favorite wine bottles.

    Stylish Rack For All of You Wine Lovers

  • That thing ova there is called a commode by fancy folks, but I’m not fancy—it’s a toilet.


  • The trap is actually built into the commode, which is why there is standing water in it.

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - Well that cant be good.

  • Media speculation centered on a $35,000 commode -- until it was pointed out that the commode was a cupboard.

    Vicky Ward: Cloud-Cuckoo-Land on Wall Street

  • As I assist her back into bed this morning she indicates that emptying the commode is the way I can help.

    The Dance

  • At rest stops I release them from the carrier, giving them freedom to hop about the car interior, have a drink of water, and use their commode, which is placed on the floor of the backseat.

    The Cat Who Moved A Mountain


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  • It used to be a hat! From "elaborate headdress consisting chiefly of a high framework decorated with lace, ribbons, etc., worn perched on top of the hair by women in the late 17th and early 18th centuries."

    The funny part is that you're directed to that page by the entry for fontange : "commode (def. 4)." But the hat is described in def. 5. Definition 4 reads: "a portable toilet, esp. one on a chairlike frame with wheels, as for an invalid."

    I don't think they wore those commodes perched on top of the hair in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

    April 18, 2008