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From Middle English lavendrie, from Old French lavanderie, from Latin lavandaria. See launder.

Laundry (clothes in the process of being laundered) hanging on a clothesline to dry.
A laundry (room where laundering is done).



laundry (countable and uncountable, plural laundries)

  1. A laundering; a washing.
    In our family of five, we have to do the laundry every other day.
  2. A place or room where laundering is done - including, by extension, other forms of laundering than clothes washing.
    • 1883, Henry J. Winser, The Yellowstone National Park-A Manual for Tourists[1], New York: G.P. Putnam Sons, page 46:
      Old Faithful is sometimes degraded by being made a laundry. Garments placed in the crater during quiescence are ejected thoroughly washed when the eruption takes place.
  3. That which needs to be, is being, or has been laundered. [from c. 1930]
    You've left your dirty laundry all over the house.
    • 1935, New York Court of Appeals. Records and Briefs., page 69:
      Q. Did you use to do the washing around your house, too? / The Court: She did all the work of the house, I suppose. / Mr. Feltenstein: That's what I want to find out. / A. I gave the laundry to the laundry. / Q. What? / A. I gave the wash to the laundry.
  4. (slang, American football) A penalty flag.
  5. A business whose primary purpose is to conceal the origins of money received illegally.


Derived terms[edit]


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