Definition of laundry in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Clothes and linen that need to be washed or that have been newly washed.

    ‘piles of dirty laundry’
    • ‘Yesterday I began tackling the mountain of clean laundry.’
    • ‘I stopped what I was doing, which wasn't difficult because I was putting my clean laundry away, and listened.’
    • ‘They lug their dirty laundry to the neighborhood Laundromat, lug their groceries home and then lug the bags of garbage to the curb.’
    • ‘There was no note, only a pile of dirty laundry and the smouldering remains of a meth lab attracting the attention of the local constabulary.’
    • ‘Josh noticed a growing pile of dirty laundry in a corner.’
    • ‘She had searched everywhere and by chance stumbled across Bert's pile of dirty laundry and saw it sticking out from underneath.’
    • ‘Inside, dirty laundry, including trousers and a towel, hung from a clothes line above a bed covered with a floral blanket.’
    • ‘Soon, piles of dirty laundry are arriving at a prearranged drop-off point a mile from her cabin.’
    • ‘Sure, I'll obsess over a book or the folder structure on a hard drive, but laundry piles up in my big basket for weeks, and I never remember to water the plants.’
    • ‘He walked back into the bathroom and tugged off his T-Shirt, throwing it in a pile of dirty laundry he had yet to do.’
    • ‘We looked under beds, behind the couch, in and around the baskets of dirty laundry… you name it we looked there.’
    • ‘Washed, laundry is in the washer, tent is airing, boots are scrubbed, cleaned and re-proofed… and already my week away is beginning to feel like a dream.’
    • ‘Adam put on some pants and picked up a random shirt from his dirty laundry.’
    • ‘The message is loud and clear: Korean women do not belong crouched down on the floors of the nation washing men's dirty laundry.’
    • ‘She went to the couch, newly cleared of laundry, and sat down.’
    • ‘Each is taught tasks such as picking up dropped items, opening and closing doors, helping remove clothing, and even emptying laundry out of the washing machine.’
    • ‘We have seen your dirty laundry hanging on the line. We know.’
    • ‘Ropes stretched from one house to the next, from where hung newly washed laundry, some still dripping with rather murky water.’
    • ‘The house suddenly falls quiet again and with a deep sigh of exhaustion you turn to the piles of dirty plates and laundry that need washing.’
    • ‘The closet was full of clothes and shoes, and dirty laundry littered the floor.’
    • ‘One day, in comes a gangly, loud-talking hippie longhair sporting a shirt fresh off the dirty laundry pile.’
    • ‘Under a pile of dirty laundry, she retrieved two large flashlights and some batteries.’
    • ‘While the poison ivy rash is not contagious, the irritating oil from these plants can remain on clothing and shoes for days, so be sure to wash that laundry.’
    dirty washing, washing, wash, dirty clothes, clothes to be cleaned
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The action or process of washing clothes.
      ‘cooking and laundry were undertaken by domestic staff’
      • ‘I've spent most of the weekend cleaning and doing laundry - yawn.’
      • ‘This means I can do house stuff, like laundry or washing dishes or working out with old gym equipment in my basement, while listening to TV.’
      • ‘The drying process for doing laundry at home is either hanging clothes on a clothesline or tumbling them in a gas- or electric-heated dryer.’
      • ‘It's 3.15, and I've done one lot of laundry, the washing up and have been shopping, but really have no desire to do anything on The Project.’
      • ‘Residents are encouraged to play a full part in their home, participating in everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and laundry.’
      • ‘Indoor pools combining washing and laundry facilities sprang up in cities.’
      • ‘Washing dishes and doing laundry are two processes that waste a lot of water, power, and time.’
      • ‘What better way of dealing with the emotional hardship of living out of a suitcase than a place where you can do your own cooking and laundry?’
      • ‘It just means laundry, cleaning, shopping and cooking for yourself.’
      • ‘This dreamer is in a big creative spurt right now, and is frustrated that family obligations such as laundry and cooking take time away from her writing.’
      • ‘Whenever my mom's out, I'm always the one washing dishes or doing laundry.’
      • ‘For instance the female members are generally expected to do all the cooking and laundry.’
      • ‘But as the eldest, I started to help tidy and do the washing-up and laundry.’
      • ‘Still, she managed to adopt orphan children and teach them to support themselves doing cooking and laundry.’
      • ‘Bill's girlfriends were used to taking care of Bill by doing the cooking, cleaning and laundry.’
      • ‘There was no shopping done, no laundry done and no washing up done.’
      • ‘Women contributed to the family income by taking in boarders and doing their laundry and cooking.’
      • ‘The rear of the house has an open balcony for washing clothes, doing laundry, and performing other domestic chores.’
      • ‘Who needs to do laundry when your clothes wash, condition and repair themselves.’
      • ‘It has become unfashionable for women to talk about laundry and washing machines in polite society, as if doing so somehow demonstrated the limits of their worldly interests.’
  • 2A room in a house, hotel, or institution where clothes and linen can be washed and ironed.

    ‘the pathology department was in the hospital basement, next to the laundry’
    • ‘My house was small; down stairs it was made of a kitchen, family room and a laundry.’
    • ‘One night I was in the laundry room reading and washing and Karen came in with a basket of clothes.’
    • ‘This floor is above two bedrooms, a bathroom, a hallway and a laundry room.’
    • ‘In living areas task lighting is provided by table, desk or floor lamps; in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries room fixtures such as halogen downlights should be placed over work areas.’
    • ‘Each apartment also has a hallway, bathroom, storeroom and a separate laundry room.’
    • ‘I still have the family, living and dining room to do, but the sliding glass door, the kitchen and the laundry room are finished.’
    • ‘She dumped her running clothes into the laundry room at the back of the house, put her shoes on the back porch, and went back to see if whoever had called had left a message.’
    • ‘He is an orderly and keeps the laundry room clean.’
    • ‘In the laundry room I sort the really dirty whites, the so-so dirty whites, and the darks.’
    • ‘There is also a staff chalet with four bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room.’
    • ‘Just because your new house has a separate laundry room, it doesn't mean that your old washer and dryer will fit.’
    • ‘The garden level accommodation is completed by a good-sized laundry / utility room and a guest toilet.’
    • ‘As well as this, a single-storey ancillary building containing a small shop and a laundry / drying room and an office will also be developed.’
    • ‘At the back of the castle, it was the former laundry and generator house, but now includes a dining hall, kitchen, three bedrooms, sitting room and bathroom.’
    • ‘Some houses have a laundry or mud room located near the kitchen, so this might need to be addressed.’
    • ‘The part three storey and part four storey block would include 15 car parking places, its own house manager, a laundry room, communal lounge and garden.’
    • ‘I actually have this insatiable urge to organize and it's taking all my willpower not to just run down to the laundry room and wash and fold all the stuff.’
    • ‘The home had only two bedrooms, a kitchen, a laundry, and a sitting room.’
    • ‘The other, a single-storey structure, has a stable, a tack room and a laundry.’
    • ‘Most families routinely enter from their garage, often passing through a laundry room and kitchen before they finally reach the front hall.’
    washroom, laundry room, launderette, dry cleaner's, public wash house, chinese laundry
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A company washing and ironing clothes and linen commercially.
      ‘lots of people send their sheets to a laundry these days’
      [as modifier] ‘a laundry van’
      • ‘He said the students were not paying for a laundry service.’
      • ‘The community resource centre plays a key role in the area, providing office facilities and a community laundry and ironing service.’
      • ‘He ran a laundry service with a friend, became a journalist and radio presenter and then a documentary filmmaker.’
      • ‘Lenin opened state-run nurseries, dining halls, laundries, and sewing centers.’
      • ‘We also allowed a local business to set up a laundry service on the camp.’
      • ‘Since his business serviced the laundry for the boys and girls camps in a neighboring larger town, he made weekly delivery trips down there.’
      • ‘The textile, hotel and restaurant services union represents 22 of the 35 commercial laundries owned by that company.’
      • ‘There are plans to set up a nappy laundry service for parents using washable nappies.’
      • ‘In the days before we all had washing machines people used to send their clothes to a laundry.’
      • ‘It turns out the laundry van happens to be the same size and color scheme as the local banking service cash pickup vehicle.’
      • ‘At first glance, his studio looks more like a Chinese laundry than a design house.’
      • ‘It had been a long week and I stopped at the café for a cup of coffee before tracking down my parents at the house or at the laundry.’
      • ‘Reminds me of opening the parachute bag that mum would bring home full of clean pressed washing from the laundry at Hornsey Road Baths.’
      • ‘The 37-year-old father-of-five had been working as a laundry firm consultant for a Qatar-based company.’
      • ‘This is done to ensure that workers and communities are protected when commercial laundries handle linens and clothes contaminated by toxic substances.’
      • ‘And then there's those people who work in commercial laundries.’
      • ‘For the salvation of their endangered souls they were put silently to work in the order's commercial laundries for an indefinite period.’
      • ‘Bachelor life also presented various pitfalls such as having to contend with laundries that insisted on ironing his socks.’
      • ‘A former city slicker has made a clean start by setting up a new laundry and ironing service.’


Early 16th century: contraction of Middle English lavendry, from Old French lavanderie, from lavandier person who washes linen (see launder).