Definition of launder in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlôndər/


[with object]
1Wash, or wash and iron, (clothes or linens): he wasn’t used to laundering his own bed linens [as adjective, with submodifier]: (laundered) freshly laundered sheets
More example sentences
  • We strip the bed and are given freshly laundered linen in return.
  • 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.
wash, wash and iron, clean;
1.1Conceal the origins of (money obtained illegally) by transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.
Example sentences
  • He also included money laundering operations, business scams and illegal undertakings involving foreign operated businesses that result in profits sent out of country.
  • 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.
  • 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.
1.2Alter (information) to make it appear more acceptable: we began to notice attempts to launder the data retrospectively
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.


1A trough for holding or conveying water, especially (in mining) one used for washing ore.
1.1A channel for conveying molten metal from a furnace or container to a ladle or mold.



Pronunciation: /ˈlônd(ə)rər/
Example sentences
  • When last have officers of any branch of the protective services infiltrated the ranks of drug dealers, money launderers, and provided intelligence that led to major arrests?
  • Definitely, these washerfolk-dependent commercial launderers, including those who extend their service to a handful of hotels, cannot ask for more.
  • The information will be passed to the police or investigating authorities as long as it is used for prevention and detection of money launderers and terrorist financiers.


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'.

  • In the sense ‘to wash clothes or linen’, launder was originally a contracted form of lavender, a medieval word meaning ‘a person who washes clothes’. It goes back to Latin lavare to wash, the source of lava (mid 18th century) originally an Italian word for ‘steam’ narrowed down to mean a stream of lava; lavatory (Late Middle English); and lavish (Late Middle English) where the sense of ‘profusion’ comes from the French for a deluge of rain; and lotion (Late Middle English) which in the past could also be used for the action of washing as well as for a liquid rubbed on. Lavender (Late Middle English) probably does not come directly from lavare, but its form was altered to look as if it did, because lavender was used to scent washing. The Watergate scandal in the USA in the early 1970s, in which an attempt to bug the national headquarters of the Democratic Party led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, gave the world money laundering. Before bathrooms and running water, people washed from a basin or bowl. This is what a lavatory originally was—vessel for washing. In the mid 17th century the word came to refer to a room with washing facilities, from which developed the modern sense of a toilet.

Words that rhyme with launder


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: laun·der

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