white·​face | \ ˈ(h)wīt-ˌfās How to pronounce whiteface (audio) \

Definition of whiteface

1 : a white-faced animal specifically : hereford
2 : dead-white facial makeup a clown in whiteface

Examples of whiteface in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 And to top it all off, someone — not Donald Glover, and not Lakeith Stanfield, but someone — sat calmly in quasi-whiteface as Atlanta character Teddy Perkins, without saying a word throughout the ceremony. Devon Maloney, The Verge, 18 Sep. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of whiteface

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of whiteface was in 1709

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Dictionary Entries Near whiteface

white-eyelid monkey



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Cite this Entry

“Whiteface.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiteface. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on whiteface

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whiteface


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