Definition of launder in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Wash, or wash and iron, (clothes or linens)

    ‘he wasn't used to laundering his own bed linens’
    • ‘Freshly laundered clothes were blowing in the wind.’
    • ‘Patients should organise someone to launder their nightwear and bring in fresh supplies of nightclothes and toiletries.’
    • ‘Not having to transport and launder towels is a real boon.’
    • ‘We strip the bed and are given freshly laundered linen in return.’
    • ‘We continue to hear about facilities that home launder their surgical scrub attire.’
    • ‘I told Pamela that I'd launder her clothes and get them back to her somehow.’
    • ‘Be sure to know beforehand how you are going to launder this fabric, because this is what makes or breaks it.’
    • ‘I'm being unfair, sitting here with the window slightly open, the crackle of thunder unfolding like static on a freshly laundered shirt, waiting and not waiting for the next bolt.’
    • ‘We all like having cleanly laundered clothes and access to round-the-clock take-out food.’
    • ‘He opens the door to be greeted by a cleaner holding out a freshly laundered towel.’
    • ‘Easy to launder, towels also save on furniture wear and tear.’
    • ‘For future reference, if a label doesn't come with written instructions, turn back to this care symbol checklist before attempting to launder your clothes.’
    • ‘They laundered work clothes separately from other family laundry.’
    • ‘The river used for laundering clothes can be a place for exchanging information.’
    • ‘The company launders linen for Perth's major teaching hospitals, as well as servicing a large number of nursing homes and hostels.’
    • ‘These other workers laundered their clothing only once each week at a laundromat; they did not have enough clothes to wear clean work clothes every day.’
    • ‘The clothing was then laundered, sterilized, and x-rayed.’
    • ‘As I went into private practice, I made sure that my shoes always shone and dressed sharply, always wearing freshly laundered shirts to court.’
    • ‘All individuals who enter the semirestricted and restricted areas of the surgical suite should wear freshly laundered surgical attire intended for use only within the surgical suite.’
    • ‘It seems ridiculous to imagine that there were any facilities to enable the cowboys to even launder their clothes, especially as they appear to have lived life on the back of a horse!’
    wash, clean, wash and iron, wash and press, dry-clean
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Conceal the origins of (money obtained illegally) by transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.
      • ‘Another worry is that criminals will use the occasion to launder dirty money.’
      • ‘Victims are confidentially asked to make their bank accounts available to launder the money in exchange for a commission, usually itself a small fortune.’
      • ‘She's accused of wire fraud, money laundering, and filing false income-tax returns.’
      • ‘He set up a complex array of bank accounts to launder the money overseas.’
      • ‘Charities and new high risk businesses also could be used to launder money from illegal activities.’
      • ‘Then she directed her attention towards the Russian mafia, which she said had infiltrated some 300 Swiss companies and were using Switzerland as a piggy bank to launder money.’
      • ‘The plant hire company used to launder the proceeds was based on a farm in another county in the southeast.’
      • ‘In a related court case last month, an English lawyer was jailed for five years for his part in what was described as Britain's largest money laundering scam associated with a solicitor.’
      • ‘In Wednesday's verdict, the jury found him not guilty on some insider trading and money laundering charges, but reached no decision on charges of fraud and conspiracy.’
      • ‘How will that solution be incorporated into the processes required for anti-money laundering legislation?’
      • ‘U.S. commercial banks are resisting tighter controls on money laundering and transfers by suspicious individuals who may be financing terrorist cells.’
      • ‘Dubai also is alleged to be home to banks that laundered money for the attackers.’
      • ‘He said it was important for banks to comply with money laundering regulations set against the vice so as to maintain and build better images.’
      • ‘It doesn't work, it oppresses the weak, and merely plays into the pockets of the drug profiteers - from the generals to the cartels and the banks who launder the money.’
      • ‘In September, the bank hired its first compliance officer to focus on money laundering full time.’
      • ‘He also included money laundering operations, business scams and illegal undertakings involving foreign operated businesses that result in profits sent out of country.’
      • ‘These crimes include terrorism, money laundering, illegal drug and human trafficking, illicit weapons trading, blackmailing and embezzlement of EU funds.’
      • ‘He said it was likely organised criminals and even international terrorists used Ireland's banks to launder money.’
      • ‘Drug cartels, arms traffickers, terrorist groups, and common criminal organizations use banks to launder their dirty money, making it appear as the product of legitimate business.’
      • ‘If convicted, the money laundering charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison.’
    2. 1.2 Alter (information) to make it appear more acceptable.
      ‘we began to notice attempts to launder the data retrospectively’
      • ‘Second, liberals should not abet conservative efforts to launder the former President's record.’
      • ‘Because the same set of facts laundered through a reporter and expressed ‘independently’ in a news account gets double the bounce the same revelation would in a press conference.’
      • ‘The documents would have flowed from one group to another, and thus would have been laundered to make them appear as legitimate products discovered by a legitimate intelligence agency.’


  • 1A trough for holding or conveying water, especially (in mining) one used for washing ore.

    1. 1.1 A channel for conveying molten metal from a furnace or container to a ladle or mold.


Middle English (as a noun denoting a person who washes linen): contraction of lavender, from Old French lavandier, based on Latin lavanda ‘things to be washed’, from lavare ‘to wash’.