white

adjective
\ ˈhwīt How to pronounce white (audio) , ˈwīt\
whiter; whitest

Definition of white

 (Entry 1 of 13)

1a : free from color
b : of the color of new snow or milk specifically : of the color white
c : light or pallid in color white hair lips white with fear
d : lustrous pale gray : silvery also : made of silver
2a : being a member of a group or race characterized by light pigmentation of the skin
b : of, relating to, characteristic of, or consisting of white people or their culture
c [ from the former stereotypical association of good character with northern European descent ] : marked by upright fairness that's mighty white of you
3 : free from spot or blemish: such as
a(1) : free from moral impurity : innocent
(2) : marked by the wearing of white by the woman as a symbol of purity a white wedding
b : unmarked by writing or printing
c : not intended to cause harm a white lie white magic
d : favorable, fortunate one of the white days of his life— Sir Walter Scott
4a : wearing or habited in white
b : marked by the presence of snow : snowy a white Christmas
5a : heated to the point of whiteness
b : notably ardent : passionate white fury
6a : conservative or reactionary in political outlook and action
b : instigated or carried out by reactionary forces as a counterrevolutionary measure a white terror
7 : of, relating to, or constituting a musical tone quality characterized by a controlled pure sound, a lack of warmth and color, and a lack of resonance
8 : consisting of a wide range of frequencies used of light, sound, and electromagnetic radiation

white

noun

Definition of white (Entry 2 of 13)

1 : the achromatic object color of greatest lightness characteristically perceived to belong to objects that reflect diffusely nearly all incident energy throughout the visible spectrum
2a : a white or light-colored part of something: such as
(1) : a mass of albuminous material surrounding the yolk of an egg
(2) : the white part of the eyeball
(3) : the light-colored pieces in a 2-player board game also : the player by whom these are played
(4) : the area of a page unmarked by writing, printing, or illustration
b(1) archaic : a white target
(2) : the fifth or outermost circle of an archery target also : a shot that hits it
3 : one that is or approaches white in color: such as
a : white clothing often used in plural
c : a white mammal (such as a horse or a hog)
d(1) : a white-colored product (such as flour, pins, or sugar) usually used in plural
(2) : any of numerous butterflies (subfamily Pierinae of the family Pieridae) that usually have the ground color of the wings white and are related to the sulphur butterflies
e whites plural : teeth used in the phrase pearly whites
4 whites plural : leukorrhea
5 : a person belonging to a light-skinned race
6 often capitalized : a member of a conservative or reactionary political group

white

verb
whited; whiting

Definition of white (Entry 3 of 13)

White

biographical name (1)
\ ˈhwīt How to pronounce White (audio) , ˈwīt\

Definition of White (Entry 4 of 13)

Andrew Dickson 1832–1918 American educator and diplomat

White

biographical name (2)

Definition of White (Entry 5 of 13)

Byron Raymond 1917–2002 American jurist

White

biographical name (3)

Definition of White (Entry 6 of 13)

Edward Douglass 1845–1921 American jurist; chief justice U.S. Supreme Court (1910–21)

White

biographical name (4)

Definition of White (Entry 7 of 13)

Elwyn Brooks 1899–1985 American journalist and writer

White

biographical name (5)

Definition of White (Entry 8 of 13)

Gilbert 1720–1793 English clergyman and naturalist

White

biographical name (6)

Definition of White (Entry 9 of 13)

Patrick Victor Martindale 1912–1990 Australian writer

White

biographical name (7)

Definition of White (Entry 10 of 13)

Stanford 1853–1906 American architect

White

biographical name (8)

Definition of White (Entry 11 of 13)

Theodore Harold 1915–1986 American journalist and writer

White

biographical name (9)

Definition of White (Entry 12 of 13)

William Allen 1868–1944 American journalist and writer

White

geographical name

Definition of White (Entry 13 of 13)

1 river 690 miles (1110 kilometers) long in northern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri flowing southeast into the Mississippi River
2 river 250 miles (402 kilometers) long in northwestern Colorado and eastern Utah flowing west into the Green River
3 river 50 miles (80 kilometers) long in southwestern Indiana flowing west into the Wabash River
4 river 325 miles (523 kilometers) long in southern South Dakota flowing east into the Missouri River
5 river 130 miles (209 kilometers) long in northwestern Texas

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Other Words from white

Adjective

whitish \ ˈhwī-​tish How to pronounce whitish (audio) , ˈwī-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for white

Synonyms: Adjective

colorless, tintless [archaic], uncolored, undyed, unpainted, unstained

Antonyms: Adjective

colored, colorized, dyed, hued, painted, pigmented, stained, tinct, tinctured, tinged, tinted

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Examples of white in a Sentence

Adjective

He was wearing white sneakers. He had a long, white beard. Her lips were white with fear. He turned white when he heard the news. He came from a white middle-class background. His mother is Hispanic and his father is white.

Noun

the whites of his eyes The cake recipe calls for four egg whites.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Angela Bassett The Oscar-winning leading lady wears her support for IWD on her back in a classic white cotton t-shirt with a philanthropic twist. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Celebrity Instagrams from International Women's Day 2019," 8 Mar. 2019 From Macklowe Properties, the developer that brought us 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere, comes a 35-story white layer cake of a skyscraper on the Upper East Side. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "Interior Designer Cyril Vergniol Says Goodbye to Cookie-Cutter Apartments," 8 Mar. 2019 Second: Combine 1 quart water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a medium pot. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Your Own Natural Easter Egg Dyes with Everyday Ingredients," 7 Mar. 2019 To a medium pot, add 2 tsp oil and white parts of scallions and cook on medium until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Asian Pork Chops with Coconut Rice," 7 Mar. 2019 No ordinary white kitchen—nor the standard chrome appliances that often go with it—would do. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "This Manhattan Kitchen Has the Most Surprising Stove," 7 Mar. 2019 Wendy, on the other hand, topped her bob with a white tulle bow at one point. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Red Velvet Members Share Their Biggest Skin-Care Secrets," 7 Mar. 2019 The thousands of protesters, many wearing white teachers’ robes, came from across Morocco to Rabat to seek salary raises and promotions and protest the limited opportunities for low-ranking teachers, who earn an average of 400 euros ($454) a month. Amira El Masaiti, The Seattle Times, "Morocco: Arab Spring anniversary brings reflection, beatings," 20 Feb. 2019 Locals say that in the early 19th century, the Dutch Governor-General Albert Kikkert suffered from migraine headaches made worse by the reflection of the bright Caribbean sun on white buildings. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The African-American rate is still nearly double the jobless rate for whites, at 3.5 percent. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s speech exaggerates border peril," 6 Feb. 2019 The couple tore down walls, added a room, and swapped earthy browns for airy whites. Laura Kostelny, Country Living, "Step Inside a Serene Bungalow," 25 Jan. 2019 Though, in recent years, a handful of style icons (hi, hello, Solange) and fashion designers ('sup, Sies Marjan) have broadened the definition to include burgundies, blues, pinks, and, for those who are poised or careful enough, whites. Ana Colon, Glamour, "The Unexpected Fall 2018 Color Trend That'll Take Over Your Wardrobe," 5 Sep. 2018 For these whites, pyrotechnic chemists typically use something like titanium or magnesium. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 The gap was wider for taxis, which had a mean total wait time of 30 minutes for blacks, 24 minutes for Asians/Hispanics and 20 minutes for whites. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Blacks face longer wait times on Uber, Lyft than other races — and it's worse for taxis," 27 June 2018 The provisional number of births last year declined 2 percent for Hispanics, 3 percent for whites and was unchanged for blacks. courant.com, "When It Comes To Fertility Rates, Connecticut Ranks Among The Lowest In The Country," 27 June 2018 Slavery in the Americas was predicated on producing labor for slave-owning whites whose livelihoods depended on the labor of their slaves. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Separating Children From Parents is Shocking And Inhumane — It Is Also An American Tradition," 22 June 2018 For Lantinx bank account owners, the average minimum balance required to maintain an account is $231.21 higher than the requirement for whites. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Your Bank Is a White Supremacist," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of white

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for white

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English hwīt; akin to Old High German hwīz white and probably to Old Church Slavonic světŭ light, Sanskrit śveta white, bright

Verb

Middle English, from white, adjective

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Learn More about white

Dictionary Entries near white

whistly

whit

Whitby

white

White

White's thrush

whiteacre

Statistics for white

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for white

The first known use of white was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for white

white

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of white

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having the color of fresh snow or milk
: light or pale in color
: of or relating to a race of people who have light-colored skin and who come originally from Europe

white

noun

English Language Learners Definition of white (Entry 2 of 2)

: the very light color of fresh snow or milk
: white clothing
: white clothes used to play sports

white

adjective
\ ˈhwīt How to pronounce white (audio) , ˈwīt\
whiter; whitest

Kids Definition of white

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of the color of fresh snow : colored white
2 : light or pale in color Her face was white with fear.
3 : silvery
4 : belonging to a race of people having light-colored skin
5 : blank entry 1 sense 1 Do not write in white spaces on the page.
6 : not intended to cause harm white lies
7 : snowy sense 1 a white Christmas

Other Words from white

whiteness noun

white

noun

Kids Definition of white (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the color of fresh snow : the opposite of black
2 : the white part of something (as an egg)
3 : white clothing She is dressed in white.
4 : a person belonging to a race of people having light-colored skin

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More from Merriam-Webster on white

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with white

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for white

Spanish Central: Translation of white

Nglish: Translation of white for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of white for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about white

Comments on white

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