1 of 2


variants or less commonly nonwhite
: not of a white race (see race entry 1 sense 1a)
non-white immigrants
non-white Alaskans
: not of the color white
… I was standing at the very top of the ladder and stretching to paint over the last non-white spot on the ceiling …Xaver Bayer


2 of 2


variants or less commonly nonwhite
plural non-whites also nonwhites
: a person who is not of a white race (see race entry 1 sense 1a)

Examples of non-white in a Sentence

Noun The program is even less popular among nonwhites.
Recent Examples on the Web
Key Takeaways • Among S&P 500 companies that fully disclosed the race & ethnicity breakdown of their boards, the average number of non-white board members rose to 2.4 in 2022 from 2.2 in 2021. Stephen Vogado, WSJ, 19 Sep. 2023 Share [Findings] Drivers of fancy cars yield to pedestrians less often than drivers of humble cars, and still less if the pedestrians are non-white men. Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 13 Sep. 2023 In the ensuing decades, developers built housing in the neighborhood, with contracts containing racial covenants banning the sale of property to non-white residents. Louis Hansen, ProPublica, 11 Sep. 2023 Political experts, too, see opportunity ahead for Haley but add that real challenges persist for the former U.N. ambassador -- a daughter of Indian immigrants and the only woman, as well as only non-white woman, to seek the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Abby Cruz, ABC News, 11 Sep. 2023 Today, 32% of S&P 500 directors are women and 22% are non-white. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 31 Aug. 2023 Natural history museums have historically presented non-white cultures as primitive and static; collections were built quite literally out of colonial exploits and, at times, for scientifically specious reasons. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 29 Aug. 2023 The search for genetic risk factors in non-white populations has been difficult because most genetic databases are overwhelmingly white. Usha Lee McFarling, STAT, 25 Aug. 2023 In the 1960s, the historic practice of discounting women’s contributions to the workplace was perpetuated by a predominantly male labor force that especially undercounted work performed by non-white women. Time, 24 Aug. 2023
Share [Findings] Drivers of fancy cars yield to pedestrians less often than drivers of humble cars, and still less if the pedestrians are non-white men. Kyle Paoletta, Harpers Magazine, 29 Mar. 2023 But the lead acts — Bad Bunny, Blackpink, and Frank Ocean — also make history as the first group of 100% non-white Coachella headliners. Oscar Hartzog, Rolling Stone, 28 Mar. 2023 So just white people over non-white people is a total ordering. Steven Strogatz, Quanta Magazine, 22 Mar. 2023 But that isn’t much different than a long list of public and other private schools serving low-income and non-white children in Milwaukee. Alan J. Borsuk, Journal Sentinel, 20 Mar. 2023 Courtesy of Trier Bryant Reports of massive layoffs disproportionately hitting corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion teams (DEI) and non-white professionals are one the latest setbacks for DEI professionals. Trier Bryant, Fortune, 17 Mar. 2023 The series has gotten far better at not exoticizing foods from non-white cultures and developed a greater respect for them. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 9 Mar. 2023 In addition to the link between air quality and miles driven, his team found that non-white communities face higher pollution levels across the board. Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 9 Mar. 2023 That is staggering—but nowhere near as baffling as the fact that only one non-white woman (Berry) has received a best-actress Oscar in that glittering awards show’s almost 100-year history. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 6 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'non-white.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1806, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of non-white was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near non-white

Cite this Entry

“Non-white.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


non·​white (ˈ)nän-ˈhwīt How to pronounce nonwhite (audio)
: a person whose features and especially whose skin color are different from those of white people of northwestern Europe
nonwhite adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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