Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To wash (clothes, for example).
  • intransitive verb To wash, fold, and iron.
  • intransitive verb To make (illegally obtained money) appear lawfully obtained or legitimate, especially by transferring it through legitimate accounts or businesses.
  • intransitive verb To make more acceptable or presentable, sanitize.
  • intransitive verb To undergo washing in a specified way.
  • intransitive verb To wash or prepare laundry.
  • noun A trough or flume used in washing ore.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who washes; a washerwoman or washerman.
  • noun A gutter or channel for conveying water; specifically, a channel or trough, generally made of wood, in which water is carried in any desired direction.
  • To wash and iron, as clothes; do up by washing, starching, and ironing: now used especially of laundry-work on a large scale.
  • To wet; wash.
  • To cover, as a metal, with a thin wash or film.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To wash, as clothes; to wash, and to smooth with a flatiron or mangle; to wash and iron.
  • transitive verb obsolete To lave; to wet.
  • noun obsolete A washerwoman.
  • noun (Mining) A trough used by miners to receive the powdered ore from the box where it is beaten, or for carrying water to the stamps, or other apparatus, for comminuting, or sorting, the ore.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete A washerwoman.
  • noun mining A trough used by miners to receive powdered ore from the box where it is beaten, or for carrying water to the stamps, or other apparatus for comminuting (sorting) the ore.
  • noun A gutter (for rainwater)
  • verb To wash; to wash, and to smooth with a flatiron or mangle; to wash and iron.
  • verb obsolete To lave; to wet.
  • verb money To disguise the source of ill-gotten wealth by various means.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb convert illegally obtained funds into legal ones
  • verb cleanse with a cleaning agent, such as soap, and water

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Middle English launder, lavender, launderer, from Old French lavandier, from Vulgar Latin *lavandārius, from Latin lavandāria, things to be washed, from lavanda, neuter pl. gerundive of lavāre, to wash; see leu(ə)- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Contracted from Middle English lavender, from Old French lavandiere, from Late Latin lavandena, from Latin lavō ("I wash").

Examples

  • “I’ve been fighting the phrase launder the coffee,” Lew said.

    Kahawa

  • It's long been known that charity and philanthropic sector ventures can be used and abused as a way to clean wash aka launder and shuffle around money.

    Gambling911.com RSS News Feed

  • Legal scholar David Smolin prefers to speak of "child laundering," a process by which "the current intercountry adoption system frequently takes children illegally from birth parents, and then uses the official processes of the adoption and legal systems to 'launder' them as 'legally' adopted children."

    John Feffer: The Baby Trade

  • And the way that that lawyer put it was that the center was set up almost to kind of launder economics.

    The Brothers Koch: Rich, Political And Playing To Win

  • Legal scholar David Smolin prefers to speak of "child laundering," a process by which "the current intercountry adoption system frequently takes children illegally from birth parents, and then uses the official processes of the adoption and legal systems to 'launder' them as 'legally' adopted children."

    John Feffer: The Baby Trade

  • And the way that that lawyer put it was that the center was set up almost to kind of launder economics.

    The Brothers Koch: Rich, Political And Playing To Win

  • And the way that that lawyer put it was that the center was set up almost to kind of launder economics.

    The Brothers Koch: Rich, Political And Playing To Win

  • Angle agreed with Bachmann's claim that the Dems 'state aid package, which is meant to help cash-strapped states avert layoffs of teachers, cops and firefighters, is really a scheme designed to "launder" money for Dem campaigns via public employee unions.

    Reid ads quote Sharron Angle in her own words

  • Legal scholar David Smolin prefers to speak of"child laundering," a process by which "the current intercountry adoption system frequently takes children illegally from birth parents, and then uses the official processes of the adoption and legal systems to 'launder' them as 'legally' adopted children."

    John Feffer: The Baby Trade

  • Also, we cannot forget the people in our financial institutions who knowingly 'launder' (legitimatize) the ill-gotten gains of the criminals who engage in these activities.

    Drugs Should Be Legal

Comments

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  • Wordniks: Do you speak of "laundering" your clothes, or "washing" your clothes?

    January 4, 2011

  • Washing. Though some of my Nebraska and Missouri relatives would say it as "warshing."

    January 4, 2011

  • It may be necessary afterwards to do some ironing, which my fellow Baltimorons would pronounce earning.

    January 4, 2011

  • When I have clothes to wash, I do laundry. I don't think I ever say "launder" as a verb, unless I'm referring to someone's ability or tendency to run illegal funds through a legitimate business.

    My understanding is western PA-Ohio folks also say warsh. I know this because someone I work with is from that area and in my job we frequently refer to George Warshington. *nerves grating*

    January 4, 2011