laun·​der | \ ˈlȯn-dər How to pronounce launder (audio) , ˈlän- \
laundered; laundering\ ˈlȯn-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce launder (audio) , ˈlän-​ \

Definition of launder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to wash (something, such as clothing) in water
2 : to make ready for use by washing and ironing a freshly laundered shirt
3 : to transfer (illegally obtained money or investments) through an outside party to conceal the true source
4 : sanitize sense 2 laundered language

intransitive verb

: to wash or wash and iron clothing or household linens



Definition of launder (Entry 2 of 2)

: trough especially : a box conduit conveying particulate material suspended in water in ore dressing

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Other Words from launder


launderer \ ˈlȯn-​dər-​ər How to pronounce launder (audio) , ˈlän-​ \ noun

Examples of launder in a Sentence

Verb He used a phony business to launder money from drug dealing. had to launder the quarterback's off-the-cuff's remarks before they could be quoted in the newspaper
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ronaldo is being pressured to sell to a real estate speculator who will raze Authentico, putting dozens out of work, and make a grab for the surrounding land that will be used to launder money. Oline H. Cogdill,, 25 May 2021 Several of the Order businesses used to launder funds during the scam were also among those that would later cash in on the Paycheck Protection Program, court records and federal data show. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 May 2021 Payton said that prior to cryptos, payments were more difficult to launder and often involved gift cards or services through legitimate venues like Western Union and PayPal. Musadiq Bidar, CBS News, 18 May 2021 If Monero, or any other cryptocurrency, was going to be used not only to launder money, but to hold critical infrastructure ransom for payment in crypto, then surely a government would step in and clobber that cryptocurrency. Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Bank accounts at Crown subsidiaries were used to launder money, and Crown improperly worked with junket operators in Asia to bring gamblers to Australia, the investigation also found. Mike Cherney, WSJ, 10 May 2021 The country’s current prime minister came to power during a military coup in 2014 and sought to launder his democratic credentials through elections in 2019. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, 13 Oct. 2020 Some traders pointed to a rumor on Twitter that the Treasury Department was preparing to charge several financial institutions for allegedly using cryptocurrencies to launder money, which was picked up by some media outlets. Paul Vigna, WSJ, 23 Apr. 2021 Why let stars and companies launder their reputations by making problematic old works disappear? Arkansas Online, 17 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Criminal syndicates seek to infiltrate police forces, seize smuggling routes, corner public funds and patronage jobs, launder illicit proceeds and expand opportunities to extort money from local businesses. Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2021 The accusations include helping launder money and running interference on investigations. Justin Fenton,, 31 Mar. 2021 For example, if your family is partial to movie nights on the couch, vacuum the cushions and launder throw blankets and pillows. Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2021 Blankets with an internal waterproofing membrane can sometimes be challenging to launder because the membrane absorbs large amounts of water. Michael Pollick,, 17 Mar. 2021 Investigators also announced that Ghaleb Alaumary, a Canadian American citizen involved in helping the North Koreans launder millions of dollars through ATM schemes and bank heists, agreed to plead guilty. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, 17 Feb. 2021 Change and launder linen items (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins) immediately following the event. Offer no-touch trash cans for guests to easily throw away food items. Mary Colurso |, al, 12 Nov. 2020 If a stain remains, treat with a pre-wash and launder separately. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 22 Oct. 2020 Jordan Shanholtzer, 33, described as the ringleader, Matthew Moi, 35, Kenneth Ford, 29, Myrick Elliott, 34, and Isaiah Roderick, 21, were all charged with drug and money launder conspiracy. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'launder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of launder


1664, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1667, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for launder


Middle English launder, noun


Middle English, launderer, from Anglo-French lavandere, from Medieval Latin lavandarius, from Latin lavandus, gerundive of lavare to wash — more at lye

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Time Traveler for launder

Time Traveler

The first known use of launder was in 1664

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Statistics for launder

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Launder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for launder



English Language Learners Definition of launder

: to make (clothes, towels, sheets, etc.) ready for use by washing, drying, and ironing them
: to put (money that you got by doing something illegal) into a business or bank account in order to hide where it really came from


laun·​der | \ ˈlȯn-dər How to pronounce launder (audio) \
laundered; laundering

Kids Definition of launder

: to wash or wash and iron clothes or household linens

Other Words from launder

launderer noun


transitive verb

Legal Definition of launder

: to transfer (money or instruments deriving from illegal activity) so as to conceal the true nature and source launder money through an offshore account


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