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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. 2015.
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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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