white·​ness | \ ˈ(h)wīt-nəs How to pronounce whiteness (audio) \

Definition of whiteness

1 : the quality or state of being white: such as
a : white color
c : freedom from stain : cleanness
2 : white substance

Examples of whiteness in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bennett asks: What is the cost, to an individual and to a community, of the passing person’s estrangement from family, friends, culture and identity — all sacrificed to maintain an assumed whiteness? Ayana Mathis, New York Times, "A Novel Imagines the Fate of Twin Sisters, One Passing for White," 29 May 2020 In the very wild story, Not-Adrian is depicted as being a masochist that loves being dominated by Not-Diane, whose whiteness has ruined the traditionally black firm. Chancellor Agard, EW.com, "The Good Fight recap: The gang goes wild after being satirized by a play," 7 May 2020 The Southern Poverty Law Center has warned that the rallies are providing a platform for extremist groups, while others note the important role that whiteness plays in driving these protests altogether. Francesca Tripodi, Wired, "Google and the Cost of ‘Data Voids’ During a Pandemic," 5 May 2020 In a culture that prizes whiteness, progress is the real myth. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Stephen Curry gets the word out on social distancing," 27 Mar. 2020 His sculpture, hyperemotional and vividly colored, is challenging, especially to modern sensibilities more accustomed to the blank whiteness of marble, or the monochrome luster of bronze. Philip Kennicott, Houston Chronicle, "This 16-century Spanish sculptor changed how his country looked at religious art," 11 Dec. 2019 There is much yet to be understood about reasons for this phenomenon, but a sense of the declining status of whiteness appears tightly connected to collective self-harm. Joe Lowndes, The New Republic, "The Morbid Ideology Behind the Drive to Reopen America," 30 Apr. 2020 A century later in the Jim Crow South, segregated public-toilet doors marked Men, Women and Colored underscored how the legal recognition of a gender binary has been a privilege of whiteness. Susan Stryker, Time, "What Does It Mean to Be a Woman? It's Complicated," 5 Mar. 2020 Similarly, racial bias leads most people to associate leadership with whiteness. Soraya Chemaly, Glamour, "Kamala Harris Won't Be on Tonight's Debate Stage. No Matter Who You Support, That Should Matter to You," 19 Dec. 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of whiteness was before the 12th century

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Statistics for whiteness

Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whiteness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiteness. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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