[ lawn-der, lahn- ]
/ ˈlɔn dər, ˈlɑn- /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to wash laundry.
to undergo washing and ironing: The shirt didn't launder well.


(in ore dressing) a passage carrying products of intermediate grade and residue in water suspension.
Metallurgy. a channel for conveying molten steel to a ladle.

Nearby words

  1. launch pad,
  2. launch shoe,
  3. launch vehicle,
  4. launch window,
  5. launcher,
  6. launderette,
  7. laundress,
  8. laundrette,
  9. laundromat,
  10. laundry

Origin of launder

1300–50; 1970–75 for def 3; Middle English: launderer, syncopated variant of lavandere, lavendere washer of linen < Middle French lavandier(e) < Medieval Latin lavandārius (masculine), lavandāria (feminine), equivalent to Latin lavand- (gerund stem of lavāre to wash) + -ārius, -āria -ary; see -er2)

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for launder

British Dictionary definitions for launder


/ (ˈlɔːndə) /


to wash, sometimes starch, and often also iron (clothes, linen, etc)
(intr) to be capable of being laundered without shrinking, fading, etc
(tr) to process (something acquired illegally) to make it appear respectable, esp to process illegally acquired funds through a legitimate business or to send them to a foreign bank for subsequent transfer to a home bank


a water trough, esp one used for washing ore in mining
Derived Formslaunderer, noun

Word Origin for launder

C14 (n, meaning: a person who washes linen): changed from lavender washerwoman, from Old French lavandiere, ultimately from Latin lavāre to wash

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

Word Origin and History for launder



1660s, "to wash linen," from noun launder "one who washes" (especially linen), mid-15c., a contraction of lavender, from Old French lavandier "washer, launderer," from Medieval Latin lavandaria "a washer," ultimately from Latin lavare "to wash" (see lave). Criminal banking sense first recorded 1961, from notion of making dirty money seem clean; brought to widespread use during U.S. Watergate scandal, 1973. Related: Laundered; laundering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper