Definition of whitewash in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wītˌwäSH/
Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wītˌwôSH/


1A solution of lime and water or of whiting, size, and water, used for painting walls white.
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.
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.
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]
1 (usually as adjective whitewashed) Paint (a wall, building, or room) with whitewash.
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.
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.



Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wītˌwôSHər/ Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wītˌwäSHər/
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: white·wash

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