Definition of white-shoe in English:

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1US Denoting a company, especially a bank or law firm, owned and run by members of the Wasp elite, generally regarded as cautious and conservative: she was recently fired from a white-shoe law firm the firm is not the stuffy white-shoe outfit everyone thinks it is
More example sentences
  • But perhaps the worst insult, at least to the profession's traditional elite, is the suggestion that you can find white-shoe law firms in - of all places - Newark.
  • Perhaps his biggest coup was to obtain the ostensibly pro bono services of the white-shoe law firm Simpson Thacher and Bartlett.
  • Your desk reveals more about your personality than you might think, even if you work in a white-shoe law firm that frowns on personal expression.
1.1Denoting a privileged and wealthy American person, considered as part of a conservative social set: white-shoe college boys who edit their campus literary magazines
2Australian Belonging to or characteristic of the wealthy business people of Queensland in the 1980s, especially when perceived as aggressively commercial, vulgarly showy, and politically conservative: this was the white-shoe part of town, where the senator had his home
More example sentences
  • If you think the old white shoes network of helping your mates on the Gold Coast is dead - think again!
  • It seemed that no state, no piece of coastline had any dignity until it had earned its own white shoe resort.
  • In the land of the great "white shoe", the Gold Coast Mayor wants to set the record straight as to his council's record of achievement.


1940s: sense 1 is with reference to the white buckskin shoes fashionable among Ivy League college students in the late 1940s and early 1950s; sense 2 is with reference to the showy white shoes worn by Queensland property developers in the 1980s.

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