laun·​der | \ ˈlȯn-dər How to pronounce launder (audio) , ˈlän- \
laundered; laundering\ ˈlȯn-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce laundering (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 launderer (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 Abbas and an unnamed person also conspired to launder $14.7 million from a foreign financial institution last year, according to a criminal complaint. Faith Karimi, CNN, "He flaunted private jets and luxury cars on Instagram. Feds used his posts to link him to alleged cyber crimes," 12 July 2020 He is accused of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through cybercrime schemes. Stella Chan And Steve Almasy, CNN, "Instagram star flaunted lavish lifestyle but was actually conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars, US prosecutors say," 3 July 2020 Abbas allegedly conspired with others to launder hundreds of millions of dollars in scams targeting a law firm, a bank and an English Premier League soccer club, according to a criminal complaint filed last month in federal court. David Ingram, NBC News, "Alleged email scammer who flaunted wealth on Instagram to face charges," 3 July 2020 Students cannot share clothing or towels and players must launder their uniforms at home. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Fort Bend ISD football players return for summer conditioning camp as season remains uncertain," 15 June 2020 Zuniga is charged with one count of conspiracy to launder money, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Megan Cassidy,, "SF City Hall corruption probe: Second public official, plus 2 others, newly charged," 8 June 2020 Plan to launder the mask in warm water after each wear. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "5 Essential Tips for Wearing a Face Mask Safely and Comfortably in Hot Weather," 8 June 2020 Just launder them between each use on a high-heat setting. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Saturday, June 6," 6 June 2020 If schools launder student gear or uniforms, PPE must be available for the person in charge of laundering. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "State provides suggestions on how Indiana high school sports can return," 5 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The garbage collectors dutifully come to collect the garbage, and the launder does the same for clothes. Rhea Mogul, CNN, "One of India's richest minority groups enjoys some of Mumbai's best rents. Here's why," 4 July 2020 Sure enough, NAPS is now a means by which Navy launders underqualified athletes into the Naval Academy. Joe Nocera, New York Times, "Navy Opens a Back Door, and In Come Athletes and Victories," 9 Dec. 2016

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

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Launder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for launder


How to pronounce launder (audio)

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on launder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for launder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with launder

Spanish Central: Translation of launder

Nglish: Translation of launder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of launder for Arabic Speakers

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