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 Givens pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana and conspiracy to launder money. Edmund H. Mahony,, "Ansonia man gets five year sentence in $10 million Connecticut marijuana conspiracy," 4 Sep. 2019 The jury found the elder Reed guilty of 18 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, making false statements on his income tax returns and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to launder money. Robert Rhoden,, "Convicted former DA Walter Reed takes case to appeals court," 1 May 2018 The suit alleges company executives retaliated against her for flagging cybersecurity risks and potential violations of anti-money-laundering laws, child exploitation, and data misuse. Paris Martineau, WIRED, "Second Life Is Plagued by Security Flaws, Ex-Employee Says," 16 Aug. 2019 Authorities were already watching Cole when Lorenzen sold him the cars – and investigators suspected the vehicles were used to launder drug money. CBS News, "Lorenzen Wright death: Surprise plea deal latest twist in the case of slain NBA star," 27 July 2019 Some consortium members are concerned that the token could be used to launder money and finance terrorist organizations, which has been a persistent problem with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Parmy Olson, WSJ, "Facebook Unveils Cryptocurrency Libra in Bid to Reshape Finance," 18 June 2019 Treasury also designated 20 companies in Venezuela and Panama that are controlled by the three men, and which the government says were used to allegedly launder drug and extortion money. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "Washington sanctions former Venezuelan intelligence chief | Miami Herald," 7 May 2018 Federal agents alleged the entities were used to launder money by the Villarreal-Arelis family. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "Former Mexican prosecutor/U.S. informant sentenced," 23 Apr. 2018 The county will need to work out some logistics, like how to launder the larger blankets and where to store them, Simms said. Courtney Astolfi,, "Cuyahoga County buys anti-suicide blankets, gowns to reduce risk of suicides in county jail," 3 Sep. 2019 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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Time Traveler for launder

Time Traveler

The first known use of launder was in 1664

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Statistics for launder

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Launder.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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