Definition of white in English:

white

Line breaks: white
Pronunciation: /wʌɪt
 
/

adjective

1Of the colour of milk or fresh snow, due to the reflection of all visible rays of light; the opposite of black: a sheet of white paper
More example sentences
  • I smiled at my reflection and my pearly white teeth were visible and stood out from my tanned face.
  • Brighten up a plain white bathroom with these fresh colours from Dulux.
  • He was wearing a black jacket with white reflection marks, dark blue jeans and trainers.
Synonyms
colourless, unpigmented, undyed, bleached, natural;
snowy, milky, chalky, snow-white, snowy-white, milk-white, milky-white, chalk-white, chalky-white, ivory;
pale, clear, transparent
snowy, snowy-white, grey, silver, silvery, hoary, grizzled;
1.1Very pale: her face was white with fear
More example sentences
  • Cautiously, he rolled her over to find her face pale, deathly white, and covered with blood.
  • White scars stood prominently out against her tanned skin.
  • Kay's face turned pale white, so white that she looked like a ghost.
Synonyms
1.2(Of a plant) having white flowers or pale-coloured fruit.
More example sentences
  • Vegetation such as gorse, heather and white grass is considered to be high fire risk while grassland is low risk.
  • She leaned against one of the white cherry blossom trees and began to hum to herself.
  • Hanging in garlands on the sides of the tables, trees, and the fountain were white lilies.
1.3(Of a tree) having light-coloured bark.
More example sentences
  • All trees between these white oaks and the grassy opening were under 36 years of age.
  • I sighed deeply and took a seat on the grass, bracing next to a tall white oak tree.
  • The fifth biggest tree in the east is the famous white oak at Wye Mills, Maryland.
1.4(Of wine) made from white grapes, or dark grapes with the skins removed, and having a yellowish colour.
More example sentences
  • And what sauvignon blanc does for white wines, cabernet sauvignon can do for reds.
  • This is achieved by pressing the red grapes rapidly to produce white wine without a trace of colour.
  • It has become a bit famous in recent years for its white wines, especially chenin blanc.
1.5British (Of coffee or tea) served with milk or cream.
More example sentences
  • Just don't ask for a white coffee - you'll get condensed milk already in the cup, urgh.
  • We drank flat white coffees, and Ray noticed me looking at the blurry blue tattoo on his forearm.
  • She was still smiling when she carried the two white coffees up the rickety wooden stairs.
1.6(Of food such as bread or rice) light in colour as a result of a refining process.
More example sentences
  • For lunch I like corned beef, white rice and fried onions, which I've eaten for as long as I can remember.
  • Nihan pointed out a popular dish where a raw egg is mixed with hot white rice and soy sauce.
  • I snack on tons of Inarizushi - it's white rice stuffed inside sweetened tofu wrapping.
1.7(Of glass) transparent; colourless.
More example sentences
  • She offered you both hard candy from a white glass bowl and looked into your daughter's face.
  • A generous front in white glass curves out to form porches for the two main entrance doors.
  • In the middle there lay a small table, with a cloudy white glass sphere in the middle.
2 (also White) Belonging to or denoting a human group having light-coloured skin (chiefly used of peoples of European extraction): a white farming community
More example sentences
  • In the colonial context, the camera wielded by white Europeans was an intrusive weapon of domination.
  • Two of the survivors are white European and the rest are mainland Chinese nationals.
  • Most participants were white Europeans who were being treated by their general practitioner.
Synonyms
2.1Relating to white people: white Australian culture
More example sentences
  • Her literary debut, The Grass Is Singing, exposed the moral bankruptcy of the white settler culture.
  • Black nationalism was centered on blackness and saw no value in white culture and religion.
  • We black people like to think of ourselves as somehow outside of mainstream white culture.
2.2South African , historical Reserved by law for those classified as white.

noun

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1 [mass noun] White colour or pigment: garnet-red flowers flecked with white
More example sentences
  • Instead they decided to defer the matter to give the park time to change the colour scheme to all white to make it look less conspicuous.
  • Shocking half-page pictures in colour and black and white underline the story throughout.
  • My husband said ‘no’ because we've got to stick to the club colours of black and white.
1.1White clothes or material: he was dressed from head to foot in white
More example sentences
  • Hundreds of people dressed in the traditional white with red scarves take part in each run.
  • She wore a newly fashioned gown of shimmering white, a delicate veil and a golden circlet.
  • Upon the terrace was a beautiful woman, garbed in a flowing silk gown of glowing white.
1.2 (whites) White clothes, especially as worn for playing cricket or tennis, as naval uniform, or in the context of washing: wash whites separately to avoid them being dulled
More example sentences
  • A daring university student dressed in cricket whites, pads and a helmet gave an innovative spin to the concept of pitch invasion.
  • The foundation provided him with new cricket whites, boots, gloves, pads, anew bat, a helmet, six balls and a cricket bag.
  • Americans, in fact, could have ended up staying in striped caps and cricket whites.
1.3White wine: a bottle of house white
More example sentences
  • The main varietals in Chile are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for whites and Cabernet, Merlot and Carmenere for reds.
  • Semillon brings a lush texture to dry whites while Sauvignon Blanc brings an herbal raciness - a terrific combination.
  • This honeyed, concentrated, sweet and sour style white is perfect with this dish.
1.4 (White) The player of the white pieces in chess or draughts.
More example sentences
  • After this White's position is very bad because his pieces are so poorly placed for the middle-game.
1.5 [count noun] A white thing, in particular the white ball (the cue ball) in snooker or billiards.
More example sentences
  • But a potted white by Perry let Ding back in and he cleared up to win.
2The visible pale part of the eyeball around the iris.
More example sentences
  • Viral conjunctivitis can spread to the cornea, the white of the eye.
  • The conjunctiva is a thin lining that covers the whites of the eyes and the insides of the eyelids.
  • His eyes, though still inhumanly brilliant, bore smaller irises and more pronounced whites - just like Arun's own.
3The outer part (white when cooked) which surrounds the yolk of an egg; the albumen.
More example sentences
  • Cook the eggs long enough to solidify the whites, but the yolks remain somewhat runny.
  • The whole thing is then cooked again to harden the whites around the yolk.
  • Crispy fried noodle threads and minced peppers add crunch; sieved egg yolks and whites add softness.
4 (also White) A member of a light-skinned people, especially one of European extraction.
More example sentences
  • One audience member asked whether whites should go out of their way to develop black friends.
  • Unlike whites and members of other ethnic groups, blacks who live in the suburbs are far wealthier than their city brethren.
  • Wisdom teeth problems are more common among European whites compared to Orientals and blacks.
5 [with modifier] A white or cream butterfly which has dark veins or spots on the wings and can be a serious crop pest.

verb

[with object] archaic Back to top  
Paint or turn (something) white: your passion hath whited your face

Origin

late Old English hwīt, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wit and German weiss, also to wheat.

Usage

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.

Phrases

whited sepulchre

literary A hypocrite.
[with biblical allusion to Matt 23:27]
More example sentences
  • I wonder how He might fare today with His uncompromising stand on Hypocrites and whited sepulchres?
  • Our unusually tidy house is a sham, all deceiving beauty outside yet all corruption within, as a whited sepulchre, or market stall pear.
  • Keep up the good fight, and as to the whited sepulchres, keep giving it to them good and hard.

white man's burden

The task, believed by white colonizers to be incumbent upon them, of imposing Western civilization on the black inhabitants of European colonies.
[from Rudyard Kipling's The White Man's Burden (1899)]
More example sentences
  • He blamed the white man who, in the name of civilization and ‘the white man's burden,’ impoverished many peoples in the world.
  • We will go out, we will pick up the white man's burden and we will colonise these areas that are not yet under our domination.
  • Even the neocons, for all their viciousness and totalitarian gut instincts, sometimes show signs of taking their white man's burden seriously.

whiter than white

Extremely white: the detergent that washes whiter than white
More example sentences
  • He smiled, showing off two perfectly straight rows of clean whiter than white teeth.
  • The wall fronting Strand Street was gleaming whiter than white in the spring sunshine..
  • They are polishing the Santiago Bernabeu right now, scrubbing up the exterior to make it look whiter than white in this the centenary year.
Morally beyond reproach: they expect standards of behaviour whiter than white
More example sentences
  • If our glorious leaders want to be so righteous and take the stance they have then in my mind they should be above reproach themselves, whiter than white.
  • The conclusions they came to do not surprise me because this chief constable must be seen to be whiter than white with no black marks,’ he said.
  • He seems to believe they are whiter than white when it comes to sectarianism and criminality.
Synonyms

Phrasal verbs

white out

(Of vision) become impaired by exposure to sudden bright light.
More example sentences
  • My head had started to spin again, and my vision almost whited out.
  • He tried to raise his head, and his sight whited out entirely.
(Of a person) lose colour vision as a prelude to losing consciousness.
More example sentences
  • I bolted for the door and whited out as I hit the street.

white something out

1Obliterate a mistake with white correction fluid.
More example sentences
  • A teacher at the school took a copy of the New York ballot paper, photocopied it and whited out all the nominees names, putting school subjects in their place.
  • The governor's office had whited out the answers.
  • They should release the documents containing the allegations against him, with the sensitive bits whited out.
2Impair someone’s vision with a sudden bright light.

Derivatives

whitely

adverb
More example sentences
  • A long, wide car has pulled up in the driveway, a face peering whitely from its passenger window.
  • You can see the Parthenon from anywhere in Athens, gleaming whitely on the Acropolis.
  • Its whitely gleaming limestone façade was smoothly intact, an awesome sight unseen since the dawn of recorded history.

whiteness

noun
More example sentences
  • The dark and gloomy colours of the works contrast with the whiteness of the hall's interior.
  • There is a sheen of glaze to the snow in the fields, as if a little sun and wind have smoothed the whiteness.
  • The whiteness of their eye, as well as the pupil and iris, were now blood red.

whitish

adjective
More example sentences
  • Add the prawn cutlets and toss until they are just sealed and turn a whitish pink colour.
  • Indonesians cultivate it as a garden vegetable and recognize numerous forms, including a large whitish one and smaller green ones.
  • Pseudopollen is a mealy material, usually whitish or yellowish in colour, which superficially resembles pollen.

Definition of white in: