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 Instead, experts say fraudsters launder the money through online accounts and people with legitimate U.S. bank accounts. Nick Penzenstadler, USA Today, "How scammers siphoned $36B in fraudulent unemployment payments from US," 30 Dec. 2020 Rather, it is being used to launder a dubious right-wing smear campaign and hamper the incoming Biden administration. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Sorry, the Hunter Biden Story Is Still Not a Thing," 14 Dec. 2020 Fix-It team, was charged with conspiracy to launder money. Heather Knight,, "S.F. City Hall scandal: Why were lavishly paid public servants allegedly bribed for so little?," 5 Dec. 2020 In the coming weeks, he'll be transferred to Los Angeles -- where the affidavit was filed -- to face accusations of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through cyber crime schemes. 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 DuCharme said recent investigations show that criminals around the world are using U.S. banks to launder trillions of dollars, including those tied to narcotics trafficking or terrorist financing. Patricia Hurtado,, "Brooklyn Federal Financial-Crime Unit Steps On Manhattan Turf," 7 Dec. 2020 On June 9, Ramirez Orozco worked out a plan with the agent to pick up and launder nearly $92,000 in illicit money from Cleveland, court records say. John Caniglia, cleveland, "From Cleveland to Mexico: Authorities help stem the flow of drug profits in arrest of accused money launderer," 25 Nov. 2020 Moving is a good opportunity to sanitize surfaces, as well as clean and launder everything, including rugs, pillows, sofa cushions. Ada Tseng, Los Angeles Times, "How to move as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic," 11 Nov. 2020 The bank’s former Southeast Asia Chairman Tim Leissner pleaded guilty in the U.S. to conspiring to launder money. Greg Farrell,, "Goldman Admits Role in Record $1.6 Billion 1MDB Bribe Spree," 22 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Launder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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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