Definition of white-shoe in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wītˌSHo͞o/


US informal
1Denoting a company, especially a law firm, owned and run by members of the WASP elite, generally regarded as cautious and conservative.
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


With reference to the white shoes fashionable among Ivy League college students in the 1940s and early 1950s.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: white-shoe

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.