whiteness

noun
white·ness | \ˈhwīt-nəs, ˈwīt-\

Definition of whiteness 

1 : the quality or state of being white: such as

a : white color

b : pallor, paleness

c : freedom from stain : cleanness

2 : white substance

Examples of whiteness in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some groups pay for their passage toward whiteness by becoming racist themselves, some scholars say. John Blake, CNN, "The blurring of racial lines won't save America. Why 'racial fluidity' is a con," 11 June 2018 The March for Our Lives, a year later, not only protested gun violence in schools, but also asked wide-ranging questions about who gets heard within a political system that remains deeply biased toward power and wealth and maleness and whiteness. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Is #MeToo Too Big?," 4 July 2018 From the runways at Fashion Week to the front of glossy magazine covers, fashion has perpetuated a standard of beauty that praises whiteness and thinness — and ostracizes anyone who doesn't fit the bill. Les Mijotés, Teen Vogue, "Diverse Coachella 2018 Street Style Photos," 17 Apr. 2018 In each instance, Ms. Goldberg challenges and expands our ideas of blackness by conjuring up an audible signifier typically identified with whiteness. Aisha Harris, New York Times, "When Black Performers Use Their ‘White Voice’," 10 July 2018 Power in the United States has long been equated with whiteness — in spirit if not always in word or deed. Taylor Crumpton, Teen Vogue, "I Already Knew What the White House Intern Photo Showed Me," 6 Apr. 2018 In place of the traditional press release, Garbus wrote a letter to journalists explaining that this record is the product of her reckoning with whiteness. Jordan Kisner, GQ, "tUnE-yArDs Made a Pop Album About White Guilt—And It's Fun as Hell," 19 Jan. 2018 Defining features of whiteness including watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Birdman and the Kentucky Derby, owning a flash-light and using Verizon Wireless. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "White Americans love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—and flashlights.," 10 July 2018 When people of color point out the inherent entitlement that accompanies whiteness, we are often dismissed out of hand. Michael Harriot, The Root, "A Thank-You Letter to Kim Kardashian for Proving White Privilege Is Real," 7 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of whiteness

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whiteness

Statistics for whiteness

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whiteness

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on whiteness

Spanish Central: Translation of whiteness

Nglish: Translation of whiteness for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whiteness for Arabic Speakers

Comments on whiteness

What made you want to look up whiteness? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!