Definition of whitewash in English:


Syllabification: white·wash
Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wītˌwäSH, -ˌwôSH


  • 1A solution of lime and water or of whiting, size, and water, used for painting walls white.
    More example sentences
    • The saddlebags had been brought from the stables and rested on a wooden bench near the washstand, already patterned with chips of whitewash flaking from the walls.
    • Never mix insecticides in ordinary lime whitewash.
    • Most Andalusian villages are white since whitewash covers the walls of the houses but only one itinerary in the region is called the Route of the White Villages.
  • 1.1 (also whitewashing) A deliberate concealment of someone’s mistakes or faults in order to clear their name.
    More example sentences
    • They were accused of a whitewash, and the voters expressed their contempt at the ballot box.
    • There are a lot of people saying this was a whitewash designed to protect them in an election year.
    • ‘The families feel we are the victims of a whitewash and a cover-up in order to protect careers of certain individuals,’ he added.
    cover-up, camouflage, deception, facade, veneer, pretext
    informal blame game
  • 2A victory in a game in which the loser scores no points.
    More example sentences
    • The only better run is by West Indies, who won ten successive Tests against England in the course of consecutive series whitewashes in 1984 and 1985-86.
    • Bubwith's Cliff Harrison and Jill Schofield were the top performers in both matches, including two whitewashes in their match against York, to end the night with 33 games.
    • This followed earlier whitewashes of Heworth and Bootham, the other two teams in the league.
    walkover, rout, landslide
    informal pushover, cinch, breeze


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1 (usually as adjective whitewashed) Paint (a wall, building, or room) with whitewash.
    More example sentences
    • Even in smaller houses, plaster was applied to finish interior walls and then whitewashed, painted or easily covered with wallpaper.
    • The few other streets wandered pleasantly past whitewashed buildings, the door frames painted blue or green or purple or red.
    • The Shakers initially whitewashed the plaster walls and painted the interior woodwork.
  • 1.1Deliberately attempt to conceal unpleasant facts about (a person or organization): his wife must have wanted to whitewash his reputation
    More example sentences
    • The heroes are mostly whitewashed and predictable.
    • Retrospective media coverage has whitewashed King while ignoring how his messages are radical challenges to the status quo of today.
    • It would be wrong, however, to whitewash him as the last of the old-school, voluntarily resigning statesmen.
    cover up, sweep under the carpet, hush up, suppress, draw a veil over, conceal, veil, obscure, keep secret; gloss over, downplay, soft-pedal
  • 2Defeat (an opponent), keeping them from scoring.
    More example sentences
    • Our girls got off to a great start and threatened to whitewash their opponents in the first half.
    • Although the paceman captured 11 wickets in the first two Tests, Pakistan was whitewashed 3-0 in the series.
    • The third and final Test starts on January 2 and the South Africans will face an uphill struggle to prevent being whitewashed in the series, the source said.



More example sentences
  • As aggravating as the BBC's linguistic whitewashers are, our own are just as bad or worse.
  • This whitewasher is former Associate V.P. Academic Judith Osbourne.
  • When that column was published in the September ‘99 issue of GUNS, a few of our readers wrote in and called me a whitewasher.

More definitions of whitewash

Definition of whitewash in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody