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

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 No one is trying to launder money through your bank accounts. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 17 May 2022 In the request for eight years imprisonment, prosecutors said Ravenell, then working as a partner at the law firm Murphy, Falcon and Murphy, used the firm’s bank account to launder drug money. Lee O. Sanderlin, Baltimore Sun, 22 June 2022 But for most cryptocurrencies, the record of who owns what is publicly visible, forcing criminals to become savvier in order to effectively launder cryptocurrencies obtained through theft, scams or ransomware attacks. CBS News, 22 Apr. 2022 But for most cryptocurrencies, the record of who owns what is publicly visible, forcing criminals to become savvier in order to effectively launder cryptocurrencies obtained through theft, scams, or ransomware attacks. Thalia Beaty, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Apr. 2022 Around the world, fraudsters are increasingly using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to launder money. Faustine Ngila, Quartz, 16 June 2022 In recent years, international criminal elements have found casinos across the globe to be an attractive opportunity to launder money. Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, 15 May 2022 But Firtash is also adept at using Western institutions to launder his own reputation. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 12 May 2022 Elliptic also said the darknet site helped launder money the Dark Side ransomware group extorted in a hack of Colonial Pipeline last year. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 5 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In another case, a Swiss court found the bank guilty for helping a Bulgarian crime ring launder money related to cocaine trafficking. Julie Steinberg, WSJ, 26 July 2022 Credit Suisse and a former employee of the bank were found guilty in a Swiss federal criminal court of helping a Bulgarian crime ring launder money related to cocaine trafficking. WSJ, 28 June 2022 Treasury said in its announcement that had also helped a number of the most destructive Russian ransomware gangs launder their money. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 6 May 2022 Pre-treat or rub the stains with bar soap and launder with fabric-safe bleach. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 18 May 2022 Officials are considering what consumer protections and financial reporting requirements to put in place and how to crack down on criminals who take advantage of the anonymity offered by cryptocurrency to evade taxes, launder money and commit fraud. Brian Slodysko, Fortune, 15 May 2022 Two owners of vendor companies that did business with Apple have admitted to conspiring with Prasad to commit fraud and launder money, prosecutors said. NBC News, 20 Mar. 2022 Premier Andrew Alturo Fahie and Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard were taken into custody by DEA agents at Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport and charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and launder money, according to a criminal complaint. Adriana Gomez Licon, Orlando Sentinel, 29 Apr. 2022 He was arrested in November 2019 in Los Angeles on charges of providing technical blockchain information to the regime of dictator Kim Jong Un that prosecutors said could be used to help the country launder money and evade sanctions. Fortune, 12 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of launder was in 1664

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Last Updated

23 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Launder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for launder


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

More from Merriam-Webster on launder

Nglish: Translation of launder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of launder for Arabic Speakers


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