white·​head | \ˈhwīt-ˌhed, ˈwīt-\

Definition of whitehead 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: a small whitish elevation of the skin (as on the face) due to retention of sebum and dead skin cells in a skin pore blocked by a thin layer of epithelium

called also closed comedo, comedo, milium

— compare blackhead sense 1


biographical name (1)
White·​head | \ˈhwīt-ˌhed, ˈwīt-\

Definition of Whitehead (Entry 2 of 3)

Alfred North 1861–1947 English mathematician and philosopher


biographical name (2)

Definition of Whitehead (Entry 3 of 3)

William 1715–1785 English dramatist; poet laureate (1757–85)

Examples of whitehead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The little bump on my right cheek grew into a full-fledged whitehead, which — spoiler alert! — eventually disappeared almost a week later. Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com, "I Ate Like Supermodel Kate Upton for Three Days — and It Wasn’t That Hard," 12 July 2018 Each month, like clockwork, right at the peak of my menstrual cycle, my hormones go haywire and I'm left with a number of whiteheads and blackheads. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "I Finally Found the First Hyperpigmentation Treatment That Actually Works on My Skin," 15 Mar. 2018 If whiteheads have already sprouted, a 2% salicylic acid spot treatment can pinpoint the spots in need of extra exfoliation. Lauren Hubbard, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to (Finally) Get Rid of Whiteheads," 4 Aug. 2017 Those blocked pores can appear as whiteheads or cystic bumps on the chin and jawline—the telltale area for period breakouts, says Dr. Engelman. Kelsey Castañon, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Acne — and How to Get Rid of It," 14 Dec. 2017 Both are common skin woes that, because of their blemish-like appearance, are quite often confused with pimples or another form of acne, such as whiteheads. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Eyelid Bumps 101: How to Identify Styes, Milia, and Pimples," 2 Mar. 2018 Once the whitehead has been extracted, apply a spot treatment to eradicate any additional infection inside the follicle. Brooke Shunatona, Cosmopolitan, "How to Pop a Pimple in 4 Easy Steps," 13 Mar. 2018 The patches breakdown debris from blackheads and absorb gunk from whiteheads overnight, so there are no harsh dry patches from using these. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "How I Used Korean Skin Care to Treat My Hormonal Acne," 9 Mar. 2018 But one Redditor may have just found her Holy Grail product—a K-beauty toner that completely cleared her whiteheads after just a few months. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "This K-Beauty Liquid Is Going Viral for *Curing* This Woman's Whiteheads," 5 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whitehead.' 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 whitehead


1886, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of whitehead was in 1886

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More Definitions for whitehead


white·​head | \-ˌhed \

Medical Definition of whitehead 

: milium

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