white

adjective
\ ˈhwīt , 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 , 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 , 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

National Geographic reports the white carnation has always been the official bloom of the holiday. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "When Is Mother's Day? Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Holiday," 7 Feb. 2019 African-American women face a wider pay gap than white women and may have more difficulty obtaining funding for their businesses. WSJ, "Secrets of Wealthy Women: African-American Women on Overcoming Obstacles," 6 Feb. 2019 The Post notes that most of Diamond and Silk’s Facebook fans appear to be middle-aged white women. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Diamond and Silk, Fox & Friends’ favorite black Trump supporters, explained," 5 Feb. 2019 The Women’s March organization has also faced backlash for focusing too heavily on the concerns of white women, as well as excluding women who hold more conservative viewpoints. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "The Best Signs From the 2019 Women’s March," 19 Jan. 2019 Systemically, white women are seen as deserving of protection, whereas Black women are not. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "R. Kelly Docuseries Reminds Us That Not All Stories of Sexual Assault Are Treated Equally," 11 Jan. 2019 Edith Whats is cutting apart a white satin wedding dress at her home in rural Indiana. Kate Bennis, Good Housekeeping, "These Angel Gowns Bring Comfort to Grieving Families," 26 Dec. 2018 It’s white women referring to black men using black emoji. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "The five emoji skin tone options don’t accommodate a diverse world," 12 Dec. 2018 Ditto for the film version, which turned Melantha into a white woman named Miranda Dorlac, played by Catherine Mary Stewart. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Nightflyers has the bloody body count we expect from George R.R. Martin," 29 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Angelina Jolie’s style never fails to maintain a certain quiet elegance: the actress often favors a muted color palette, leaning toward black or whites and creams. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Angelina Jolie Makes the Case for All-Over Neutrals," 6 Jan. 2019 Despite additional state resources for low-income schools, a learning chasm persists between whites and minorities. WSJ, "L.A.’s Teachers Union Can’t Do Simple Math," 4 Jan. 2019 Ask Family Members to (Pretty Please) Pre-Sort Keep two labelled hampers in every bedroom (or guest room)—one for whites and one for darks—then tell family members to abide by the rules. Shelby Deering, Good Housekeeping, "The Laundry Essentials That’ll Save You a Ton of Time During the Holidays," 27 Nov. 2018 By mid-afternoon, the jury includes the African American woman, two Hispanics, five whites and one Asian American. Don Babwin, Fox News, "Race becomes issue in choosing jury in white officer's trial," 12 Sep. 2018 Nina Dobrev on Her First Love and Her First Time Skipping School Like other light-pink-loving college students, blush, soft whites, and gold were their go-to color choices. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "University of Mississippi Dorm Decor," 23 Aug. 2018 As a result, the board now has four Latinos, two whites and one Asian American. Teresa Watanabe, latimes.com, "L.A. Community College trustees assailed for seating a Latino man over three African American women," 12 July 2018 The income gap between whites and blacks remain significant but narrowed slightly from 1970 to 2016. David Carrig, USA TODAY, "Study: Asians displace blacks as most economically divided group," 12 July 2018 Both locations are offering complimentary tastings of French reds, whites and rosés, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 14. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "French restaurants in Phoenix to celebrate Bastille Day," 9 July 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 Feb 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 , 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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