white elephant was our Word of the Day on 02/19/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of white elephant from the Web
Perennials for sun and shade, bulbs, herbs, and unusual plants from members' own gardens will be available along with a gardener's white elephant table.
The coming Farber show seems to be a history lesson: Molesworth the termite curator working in the white elephant museum, putting some Rauschenberg in storage to make room for a Woelffer and Asawa.
The International Olympic Committee warned in August that the venues could become white elephants.
State Fair Park Board Chairman John Yingling has heard all the naysayers who have called the facility a white elephant.
Following the meeting, a white elephant exchange will take place.
The free event kicks off at 7 p.m. and features food and drinks, plus games, comics and a white elephant gift exchange (guests interested in participating are asked to bring a gift valued at $20 or less).
Workman wheeled himself to the church hall, where a game of white elephant with the congregants awaited.
The goal of a white elephant party is usually to entertain rather than to gain, and Ted Larsen, the team’s starting left guard, made sure that was the case this holiday season.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white elephant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The real white elephant (the kind with a trunk) is a pale pachyderm that has long been an object of veneration in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Myanmar. Too revered to be a beast of burden, the white elephant earned a reputation as a burdensome beast, one that required constant care and feeding but never brought a single cent (or paisa or satang or pya) to its owner. One story has it that the kings of Siam (the old name for Thailand) gave white elephants as gifts to those they wished to ruin, hoping that the cost of maintaining the voracious but sacred mammal would drive its new owner to the poorhouse.
First Known Use of white elephant
WHITE ELEPHANT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of white elephant for English Language Learners
: something that requires a lot of care and money and that gives little profit or enjoyment
Seen and Heard
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