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[lawn-dree, lahn-] /ˈlɔn dri, ˈlɑn-/
noun, plural laundries.
articles of clothing, linens, etc., that have been or are to be washed.
a business establishment where clothes, linens, etc., are laundered.
a room or area, as in a home or apartment building, reserved for doing the family wash.
Origin of laundry
1350-1400; Middle English lavandrie < Middle French lavanderie. See launder, -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for laundry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I suppose you've been sending things to the laundry, and—what do you do about your stockings?

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • They were taught gratis, and every week they helped with the laundry for the convent.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • There had been a strike of laundry girls which for a week was the talk of the town.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • Starch is made from it both for the laundry and for the manufacture of farina, dextrin, etc.


    Benjamin Taylor
  • The only beauty about the house is in the laundry and gardens.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete Madame La Marquise De Montespan
British Dictionary definitions for laundry


noun (pl) -dries
a place where clothes and linen are washed and ironed
the clothes or linen washed and ironed
the act of laundering
Word Origin
C16: changed from C14 lavendry; see launder
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for laundry

late 14c., "place for washing;" mid-15c. "act of washing," from Old French lavanderie, from Latin lavandaria, plural of lavandarium "things to be washed," from lavare "to wash" (see lave). As a verb, from 1880. Laundry list in figurative sense is from 1958.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for laundry



  1. A bank or other place used for legitimizing illegal or dubious money (1960s+)
  2. A board of faculty members that passes on flying cadets (WWII Air Forces)

Related Terms

hang out the laundry

[second sense from the fact that some cadets were washed out, ''failed,'' by such a board]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with laundry
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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