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 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, "Behind Bitcoin’s Recent Slide: Imploding Bets and Forced Liquidations," 23 Apr. 2021 Why let stars and companies launder their reputations by making problematic old works disappear? Arkansas Online, "Cancel culture truce?," 17 Apr. 2021 KuCoin acted fast to recover most of the money, but the thieves still managed to sell $13 million worth of coins, and launder the cash proceeds. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "These are the largest cyber thefts of the past decade—and 80% of them involve Bitcoin," 7 Apr. 2021 The indictment also accuses both Apte and Richman of attempting to launder the proceeds of these sales. Alex Knapp, Forbes, "Federal Grand Jury Indicts uBiome Cofounders On Criminal Fraud Charges," 19 Mar. 2021 Widow explores the sinuous and sinister ways in which self-delusion is used—by individuals, by the ownership classes, by entire societies—to launder horror into heroism, villains into victims, history into kitsch. Justin Taylor, Harper's Magazine, "Every True Pleasure Is a Secret," 16 Mar. 2021 Kenyatta Ray, 43, pleaded guilty last Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and another count of conspiracy to launder money in a federal case overseen by U.S. District Judge James R. Sweeney. Johnny Magdaleno, The Indianapolis Star, "'Picasso,' an Indianapolis tattoo artist and drug ring leader, sentenced for meth dealing," 12 Apr. 2021 All eight defendants are charged with conspiracy to launder money, authorities said., "Eight suspects charged in Mass. in alleged fentanyl and cocaine drug ring based in Mexico," 25 Mar. 2021 The owner is a subsidiary of Optima Ventures of Miami, which is under investigation as agents probe whether people involved in the company used it as a vehicle to launder money for Ukrainian oligarchs. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Westin Cleveland Downtown will not imminently close following judge’s order," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The accusations include helping launder money and running interference on investigations. Justin Fenton,, "Attorneys cry foul over government’s secret recording of defense attorney’s meeting with drug boss," 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, "Spring cleaning: How to clear the cobwebs without adding to your pandemic stress," 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,, "Best blankets for cat hair," 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, "DOJ charges North Korean military hackers in global cybertheft scheme," 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, "Thanksgiving 2020: CDC tips to help you celebrate safely during coronavirus," 12 Nov. 2020 If a stain remains, treat with a pre-wash and launder separately. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "Here's How to Remove Paint from Clothes," 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, "6 face federal charges in drug trafficking enterprise prosecutors say led to an Anchorage murder," 29 Sep. 2020 Wash clothes, towels and linens, and launder or dry clean curtains, area rugs, furniture covers, cushions and any other affected fabrics. oregonlive, "Smoke in your home: How to clear the air, clean up and prevent fires from spreading," 17 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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Launder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 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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