Definition of whitewash in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwʌɪtwɒʃ/


1 [mass noun] A 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 [in singular] A deliberate attempt to conceal unpleasant or incriminating facts about a person or organization in order to protect their reputation: the opposition called the report ‘a whitewash’
More 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, -gate, camouflage, disguise, mask, concealment, suppression, deception, false front, facade, veneer, pretext
2 informal A victory by the same side in every game of a series: the Lions went downhill to a 4-0 whitewash
More 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.


[with object]
1 (usually as adjective whitewashed) Paint (a wall, building, or room) with whitewash: a suntrap surrounded by trees and whitewashed walls
More 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 or incriminating 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.
gloss over, deal rapidly with, downplay, make light of, soft-pedal, minimize, de-emphasize, treat as unimportant
2 informal Defeat (an opponent) in every game of a series: Ireland were whitewashed 5-0
More 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: /ˈwʌɪtwɒʃə/
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

Line breaks: white|wash

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