Definition of laundress in US English:



  • A woman who is employed to launder clothes and linens.

    • ‘Among women, common occupations included servants and waitresses, and seamstresses or laundresses, with smaller groups of laborers and factory workers.’
    • ‘Concentrated primarily as laborers, teamsters, deliverymen, waiters, servants, maids and laundresses, they held many of the lowest paid and least skilled jobs in the city.’
    • ‘Two laundresses had taken pity on her and had shown her the way since they were headed that direction anyway.’
    • ‘Records do show that free Black women served during the Civil War as nurses, laundresses and cooks.’
    • ‘Black women were signed on as nurses instead of laundresses or cooks only when they were to serve in all-black hospitals or relegated to nurse infectious white patients.’
    • ‘Katalyn was one of the many laundresses required to make an army camp work.’
    • ‘Many of them provided indispensable services as laundresses, cooks and nurses.’
    • ‘Irish working class girls were viewed as drunken and feckless, only suitable to be housemaids or laundresses.’
    • ‘Almost all working free women of colour laboured in towns, as tavern-keepers and innkeepers, petty retailers, seamstresses, laundresses, and domestics.’
    • ‘The life of London laundresses in the mid-19th century is a major theme in a new exhibition at The Women's Library.’
    • ‘Across the river a laundress scrubs clothes on the water-steps.’
    • ‘He primarily painted the crew but like his laundresses, in no specifically individual way.’
    • ‘In the Middle Ages the laundresses would drape the household sheets over lavender bushes to dry and to impart their fresh, clean scent.’
    • ‘This is a migratory anecdote, a printed version of which appeared in England in 1631, where it was told about a laundress who had apparently hoarded money for provisions for her wake.’
    • ‘Looking out of the picture, presumably watching the cauldron as it boils more water, the laundress immerses clothes in a wooden tub frothed with over-running foam.’
    • ‘Because of their lowly social status and outspoken behavior, the reputation of laundresses in late eighteenth-century Spain was problematic at best.’
    • ‘She thought of Maurice's shirts, the many she had seen pausing to help the laundresses.’
    • ‘As a laundress, she supported us until our financial situation improved.’
    • ‘Brown points out that many of the bank's loyal supporters were laundresses.’
    • ‘Careless of his duties, a herdsman in a saffron tunic plays his pipe to a young laundress delectable in suntan and ultramarine blue.’