- 3 historical counter-revolutionary or reactionary. Contrasted with red (sense 2 of the adjective).
- 5 [with modifier] a white or cream butterfly which has dark veins or spots on the wings and can be a serious crop pest.
- Pieris and other genera, family Pieridae. See also cabbage white
verb[with object] archaic
late Old English hwīt, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wit and German weiss, also to wheat
The term white has been used to refer to the skin colour of Europeans or people of European extraction since the early 17th century. Unlike other labels for skin colour such as red or yellow, white has not been generally used in a derogatory way. In modern contexts there is a growing tendency to prefer to use terms which relate to geographical origin rather than skin colour: hence the current preference in the US for African American rather than black and European rather than white.