white·​face ˈ(h)wīt-ˌfās How to pronounce whiteface (audio)
: a white-faced animal
specifically : hereford
: dead-white facial makeup
a clown in whiteface

Examples of whiteface in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lincoln has to leave every day, go down to an arcade, sit there, put on whiteface, and be shot in an arcade by children. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 June 2023 This role is played by Matthew Hancock, who while delivering a sprawling monologue, applies whiteface in preparation of taking on the roles of both George and M’Closky. Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2021 There is whiteface, redface and blackface, along with narrative flourishes delivered by a stand-in for the playwright himself. Los Angeles Times, 9 Mar. 2021 Black actors wearing whiteface makeup portray the White citizens of a small Southern town in the mid-1950s, where all of the city’s Black residents mysteriously disappear for one day. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Mar. 2021 At the Rolling Thunder Revue, behind the mask of whiteface, his eyes were ablaze. Jon Pareles, New York Times, 5 June 2019 Did not expect this creepy Donald Glover whiteface plot... Michael Saponara, Billboard, 9 Apr. 2018 The production’s all-black cast performs this section in whiteface, employing ultrastylized buffoonish movement and diction that emphasize the characters’ stupidity and cravenness, with a nod to the dehumanizing stereotypes of minstrelsy. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2019 While catering to audiences unaccustomed to seeing African-American performers in European opera houses, Mr. Ray sometimes performed in whiteface. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, 14 July 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whiteface.' 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

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whiteface was in 1709

Dictionary Entries Near whiteface

Cite this Entry

“Whiteface.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiteface. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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