1

white

adjective \ ˈhwīt , ˈwīt \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of white

whiter; whitest
1 a : free from color
b : of the color of new snow or milk; specifically : of the color white
c : light or pallid in color
  • white hair
  • lips white with fear
d : lustrous pale gray : silvery; also : made of silver
2 a : being a member of a group or race characterized by light pigmentation of the skin
b : of, relating to, characteristic of, or consisting of white people or their culture
c
[from the former stereotypical association of good character with northern European descent]
: marked by upright fairness
  • that's mighty white of you
3 : free from spot or blemish: such as
a (1) : free from moral impurity : innocent
(2) : marked by the wearing of white by the woman as a symbol of purity
  • a white wedding
b : unmarked by writing or printing
c : not intended to cause harm
  • a white lie
  • white magic
d : favorable, fortunate
  • one of the white days of his life
  • —Sir Walter Scott
4 a : wearing or habited in white
b : marked by the presence of snow : snowy
  • a white Christmas
5 a : heated to the point of whiteness
b : notably ardent : passionate
  • white fury
6 a : conservative or reactionary in political outlook and action
b : instigated or carried out by reactionary forces as a counterrevolutionary measure
  • a white terror
7 : of, relating to, or constituting a musical tone quality characterized by a controlled pure sound, a lack of warmth and color, and a lack of resonance
8 : consisting of a wide range of frequencies used of light, sound, and electromagnetic radiation

whitish

play \ˈhwī-tish, ˈwī-\ adjective

Examples of white in a Sentence

  1. He was wearing white sneakers.

  2. He had a long, white beard.

  3. Her lips were white with fear.

  4. He turned white when he heard the news.

  5. He came from a white middle-class background.

  6. His mother is Hispanic and his father is white.

Recent Examples of white from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of white

Middle English, from Old English hwīt; akin to Old High German hwīz white and probably to Old Church Slavonic světŭ light, Sanskrit śveta white, bright


2

white

noun

Definition of white

1 : the achromatic object color of greatest lightness characteristically perceived to belong to objects that reflect diffusely nearly all incident energy throughout the visible spectrum
2 a : a white or light-colored part of something: such as
(1) : a mass of albuminous material surrounding the yolk of an egg
(2) : the white part of the eyeball
(3) : the light-colored pieces in a 2-player board game; also : the player by whom these are played
(4) : the area of a page unmarked by writing, printing, or illustration
b (1) archaic : a white target
(2) : the fifth or outermost circle of an archery target; also : a shot that hits it
3 : one that is or approaches white in color: such as
a : white clothing often used in plural
c : a white mammal (such as a horse or a hog)
d (1) : a white-colored product (such as flour, pins, or sugar) usually used in plural
(2) : any of numerous butterflies (subfamily Pierinae of the family Pieridae) that usually have the ground color of the wings white and are related to the sulphur butterflies
e whites plural : teeth used in the phrase pearly whites
4 whites plural : leukorrhea
5 : a person belonging to a light-skinned race
6 often capitalized : a member of a conservative or reactionary political group

Examples of white in a Sentence

  1. the whites of his eyes

  2. The cake recipe calls for four egg whites.

Recent Examples of white from the Web

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

First Known Use of white

before 12th century


3

white

verb

Definition of white

whited; whiting
transitive verb
archaic
: whiten

Origin and Etymology of white

Middle English, from white, adjective


White

biographical name \ ˈhwīt , ˈwīt \

Definition of White

Andrew Dickson 1832–1918 American educator and diplomat

White

biographical name

Definition of White

Byron Raymond 1917–2002 American jurist

White

biographical name

Definition of White

Edward Douglass 1845–1921 American jurist; chief justice U.S. Supreme Court (1910–21)

White

biographical name

Definition of White

Elwyn Brooks 1899–1985 American journalist and writer

White

biographical name

Definition of White

Gilbert 1720–1793 English clergyman and naturalist

White

biographical name

Definition of White

Patrick Victor Martindale 1912–1990 Australian writer

White

biographical name

Definition of White

Stanford 1853–1906 American architect

White

biographical name

Definition of White

Theodore Harold 1915–1986 American journalist and writer

White

biographical name

Definition of White

William Allen 1868–1944 American journalist and writer

White

geographical name

Definition of White

1 river 690 miles (1110 kilometers) long in northern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri flowing southeast into the Mississippi River
2 river 250 miles (402 kilometers) long in northwestern Colorado and eastern Utah flowing west into the Green River
3 river 50 miles (80 kilometers) long in southwestern Indiana flowing west into the Wabash River
4 river 325 miles (523 kilometers) long in southern South Dakota flowing east into the Missouri River
5 river 130 miles (209 kilometers) long in northwestern Texas

WHITE Defined for English Language Learners

white

adjective

Definition of white for English Language Learners

  • : having the color of fresh snow or milk

  • : light or pale in color

  • : of or relating to a race of people who have light-colored skin and who come originally from Europe


WHITE Defined for Kids

1

white

adjective \ ˈhwīt , ˈwīt \

Definition of white for Students

whiter; whitest
1 : of the color of fresh snow : colored white
2 : light or pale in color
  • Her face was white with fear.
3 : silvery
4 : belonging to a race of people having light-colored skin
5 : 1blank 1
  • Do not write in white spaces on the page.
6 : not intended to cause harm
  • white lies
7 : snowy 1
  • a white Christmas

whiteness

noun

2

white

noun

Definition of white for Students

1 : the color of fresh snow : the opposite of black
2 : the white part of something (as an egg)
3 : white clothing
  • She is dressed in white.
4 : a person belonging to a race of people having light-colored skin


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