laun·der | \ˈlȯn-dər, ˈlän-\
laundered; laundering\ˈlȯn-d(ə-)riŋ, 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, ˈlän- \ noun

Examples of launder in a Sentence


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

Among the 11 people from the Cincinnati-area charged in a drug and money-laundering conspiracy, is a man who prosecutors say used a Green Township home to distribute drugs. Kevin Grasha,, "11 charged in massive drug, money-laundering conspiracy," 25 June 2018 Gal Vallerius pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to launder money. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Dark Web vendor “OxyMonster” turns out to be a Frenchman with luscious beard," 13 June 2018 Manafort had been under home detention since he was charged Oct. 27 in what prosecutors allege is a broad conspiracy to launder more than $30 million over a decade of undisclosed lobbying for a pro-Russian former politician and party in Ukraine. Washington Post, "Manafort seeks release from jail as trial looms," 26 June 2018 Manafort, 69, has been indicted on charges in what prosecutors say was a broad conspiracy to launder more than $30 million over a decade of undisclosed lobbying for a pro-Russian former politician and party in Ukraine. Tom Jackman,, "Paul Manafort checks into VIP section at Virginia jail where Chris Brown, Michael Vick also did time," 16 June 2018 From 1996 to early 2005—the year after Latvia joined both the EU and NATO, the U.S. Treasury identified Russia and Latvia as major violators of anti-money-laundering laws., "President Trump Speaks at CPAC," 23 Feb. 2018 Consider the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a U.S. Treasury Department agency responsible for enforcing anti-money-laundering laws. Nicholas Nehamas, Jay Weaver And Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, "‘Blood gold’ in your jewelry is poisoning workers and the rainforest. Here’s how to stop it.," 16 Jan. 2018 The attorney general said Anaya was suspected of laundering money., "Mexican voters going to the polls in historic elections that have been marred by vote-buying and violence," 1 July 2018 Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to all charges in what prosecutors say was a broader conspiracy to launder more than $30 million over a decade of undisclosed lobbying for a former pro-Russian politician and party in Ukraine. Anchorage Daily News, "Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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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Statistics for launder

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for launder

The first known use of launder was in 1664

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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 \
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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Comments on launder

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