Definition of launder in English:



  • 1 Wash, or wash and iron, (clothes or linens)

    ‘he wasn't used to laundering his own bed linens’
    [as adjective, with submodifier] ‘freshly laundered sheets’
    • ‘Freshly laundered clothes were blowing in the wind.’
    • ‘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 strip the bed and are given freshly laundered linen in return.’
    • ‘Easy to launder, towels also save on furniture wear and tear.’
    • ‘The company launders linen for Perth's major teaching hospitals, as well as servicing a large number of nursing homes and hostels.’
    • ‘We continue to hear about facilities that home launder their surgical scrub attire.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘The river used for laundering clothes can be a place for exchanging information.’
    • ‘I told Pamela that I'd launder her clothes and get them back to her somehow.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Patients should organise someone to launder their nightwear and bring in fresh supplies of nightclothes and toiletries.’
    • ‘Be sure to know beforehand how you are going to launder this fabric, because this is what makes or breaks it.’
    • ‘Not having to transport and launder towels is a real boon.’
    • ‘The clothing was then laundered, sterilized, and x-rayed.’
    • ‘We all like having cleanly laundered clothes and access to round-the-clock take-out food.’
    • ‘They laundered work clothes separately from other family laundry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He opens the door to be greeted by a cleaner holding out a freshly laundered towel.’
    • ‘As I went into private practice, I made sure that my shoes always shone and dressed sharply, always wearing freshly laundered shirts to court.’
    wash, clean, wash and iron, wash and press, dry-clean
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Conceal the origins of (money obtained illegally) by transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He set up a complex array of bank accounts to launder the money overseas.’
      • ‘He said it was likely organised criminals and even international terrorists used Ireland's banks to launder money.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In September, the bank hired its first compliance officer to focus on money laundering full time.’
      • ‘How will that solution be incorporated into the processes required for anti-money laundering legislation?’
      • ‘If convicted, the money laundering charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison.’
      • ‘Victims are confidentially asked to make their bank accounts available to launder the money in exchange for a commission, usually itself a small fortune.’
      • ‘Another worry is that criminals will use the occasion to launder dirty money.’
      • ‘She's accused of wire fraud, money laundering, and filing false income-tax returns.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘U.S. commercial banks are resisting tighter controls on money laundering and transfers by suspicious individuals who may be financing terrorist cells.’
      • ‘The plant hire company used to launder the proceeds was based on a farm in another county in the southeast.’
      • ‘Charities and new high risk businesses also could be used to launder money from illegal activities.’
      • ‘These crimes include terrorism, money laundering, illegal drug and human trafficking, illicit weapons trading, blackmailing and embezzlement of EU funds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He also included money laundering operations, business scams and illegal undertakings involving foreign operated businesses that result in profits sent out of country.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2Alter (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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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

    1. 1.1A 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.