Definition of laundry in US English:



  • 1Clothes and linens that need to be washed or that have been newly washed.

    ‘piles of dirty laundry’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I stopped what I was doing, which wasn't difficult because I was putting my clean laundry away, and listened.’
    • ‘Under a pile of dirty laundry, she retrieved two large flashlights and some batteries.’
    • ‘Ropes stretched from one house to the next, from where hung newly washed laundry, some still dripping with rather murky water.’
    • ‘She had searched everywhere and by chance stumbled across Bert's pile of dirty laundry and saw it sticking out from underneath.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We looked under beds, behind the couch, in and around the baskets of dirty laundry… you name it we looked there.’
    • ‘Yesterday I began tackling the mountain of clean laundry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One day, in comes a gangly, loud-talking hippie longhair sporting a shirt fresh off the dirty laundry pile.’
    • ‘The closet was full of clothes and shoes, and dirty laundry littered the floor.’
    • ‘Josh noticed a growing pile of dirty laundry in a corner.’
    • ‘She went to the couch, newly cleared of laundry, and sat down.’
    • ‘Adam put on some pants and picked up a random shirt from his dirty laundry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They lug their dirty laundry to the neighborhood Laundromat, lug their groceries home and then lug the bags of garbage to the curb.’
    • ‘Soon, piles of dirty laundry are arriving at a prearranged drop-off point a mile from her cabin.’
    • ‘The message is loud and clear: Korean women do not belong crouched down on the floors of the nation washing men's dirty laundry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Inside, dirty laundry, including trousers and a towel, hung from a clothes line above a bed covered with a floral blanket.’
    • ‘We have seen your dirty laundry hanging on the line. We know.’
    dirty washing, washing, wash, dirty clothes, clothes to be cleaned
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    1. 1.1 The action or process of washing clothes and linens.
      ‘I talked her into letting me help Ben with the rest of the laundry’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The rear of the house has an open balcony for washing clothes, doing laundry, and performing other domestic chores.’
      • ‘For instance the female members are generally expected to do all the cooking and laundry.’
      • ‘Who needs to do laundry when your clothes wash, condition and repair themselves.’
      • ‘It just means laundry, cleaning, shopping and cooking for yourself.’
      • ‘Indoor pools combining washing and laundry facilities sprang up in cities.’
      • ‘Residents are encouraged to play a full part in their home, participating in everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and laundry.’
      • ‘Women contributed to the family income by taking in boarders and doing their laundry and cooking.’
      • ‘Washing dishes and doing laundry are two processes that waste a lot of water, power, and time.’
      • ‘But as the eldest, I started to help tidy and do the washing-up and laundry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've spent most of the weekend cleaning and doing laundry - yawn.’
      • ‘There was no shopping done, no laundry done and no washing up done.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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'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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Whenever my mom's out, I'm always the one washing dishes or doing laundry.’
  • 2A room in a house, hotel, or institution where clothes and linens can be washed and ironed.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My house was small; down stairs it was made of a kitchen, family 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.’
    • ‘The home had only two bedrooms, a kitchen, a laundry, and a sitting 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.’
    • ‘The other, a single-storey structure, has a stable, a tack room and a laundry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The garden level accommodation is completed by a good-sized laundry / utility room and a guest toilet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just because your new house has a separate laundry room, it doesn't mean that your old washer and dryer will fit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Each apartment also has a hallway, bathroom, storeroom and a separate laundry room.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This floor is above two bedrooms, a bathroom, a hallway and a laundry room.’
    • ‘He is an orderly and keeps the laundry room clean.’
    • ‘One night I was in the laundry room reading and washing and Karen came in with a basket of clothes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some houses have a laundry or mud room located near the kitchen, so this might need to be addressed.’
    washroom, laundry room, launderette, dry cleaner's, public wash house, chinese laundry
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    1. 2.1 A business that washes and irons clothes and linens commercially.
      • ‘In the days before we all had washing machines people used to send their clothes to a laundry.’
      • ‘The 37-year-old father-of-five had been working as a laundry firm consultant for a Qatar-based company.’
      • ‘At first glance, his studio looks more like a Chinese laundry than a design house.’
      • ‘He ran a laundry service with a friend, became a journalist and radio presenter and then a documentary filmmaker.’
      • ‘And then there's those people who work in commercial laundries.’
      • ‘A former city slicker has made a clean start by setting up a new laundry and ironing service.’
      • ‘For the salvation of their endangered souls they were put silently to work in the order's commercial laundries for an indefinite period.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It turns out the laundry van happens to be the same size and color scheme as the local banking service cash pickup vehicle.’
      • ‘There are plans to set up a nappy laundry service for parents using washable nappies.’
      • ‘Since his business serviced the laundry for the boys and girls camps in a neighboring larger town, he made weekly delivery trips down there.’
      • ‘Reminds me of opening the parachute bag that mum would bring home full of clean pressed washing from the laundry at Hornsey Road Baths.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bachelor life also presented various pitfalls such as having to contend with laundries that insisted on ironing his socks.’
      • ‘The textile, hotel and restaurant services union represents 22 of the 35 commercial laundries owned by that company.’
      • ‘This is done to ensure that workers and communities are protected when commercial laundries handle linens and clothes contaminated by toxic substances.’


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