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From Middle English lavendrye, 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, Winser, Henry J., 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.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  • laundry in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • laundry at OneLook Dictionary Search