white

adjective
\ ˈhwīt How to pronounce white (audio) , ˈwīt \
whiter; whitest

Definition of white

 (Entry 1 of 13)

1a : 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
2a : 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
4a : wearing or habited in white
b : marked by the presence of snow : snowy a white Christmas
5a : heated to the point of whiteness
b : notably ardent : passionate white fury
6a : 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

white

noun

Definition of white (Entry 2 of 13)

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
2a : 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) 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

white

verb
whited; whiting

Definition of white (Entry 3 of 13)

White

biographical name (1)
\ ˈhwīt How to pronounce White (audio) , ˈwīt \

Definition of White (Entry 4 of 13)

Andrew Dickson 1832–1918 American educator and diplomat

White

biographical name (2)

Definition of White (Entry 5 of 13)

Byron Raymond 1917–2002 American jurist

White

biographical name (3)

Definition of White (Entry 6 of 13)

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

White

biographical name (4)

Definition of White (Entry 7 of 13)

Elwyn Brooks 1899–1985 American journalist and writer

White

biographical name (5)

Definition of White (Entry 8 of 13)

Gilbert 1720–1793 English clergyman and naturalist

White

biographical name (6)

Definition of White (Entry 9 of 13)

Patrick Victor Martindale 1912–1990 Australian writer

White

biographical name (7)

Definition of White (Entry 10 of 13)

Stanford 1853–1906 American architect

White

biographical name (8)

Definition of White (Entry 11 of 13)

Theodore Harold 1915–1986 American journalist and writer

White

biographical name (9)

Definition of White (Entry 12 of 13)

William Allen 1868–1944 American journalist and writer

White

geographical name

Definition of White (Entry 13 of 13)

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

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Other Words from white

Adjective

whitish \ ˈhwī-​tish How to pronounce whitish (audio) , ˈwī-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for white

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of white in a Sentence

Adjective He was wearing white sneakers. He had a long, white beard. Her lips were white with fear. He turned white when he heard the news. He came from a white middle-class background. His mother is Hispanic and his father is white. Noun the whites of his eyes The cake recipe calls for four egg whites.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In the last debate, Andrew Yang was the only non-white candidate. Time, "With No Clear Frontrunner, 6 Candidates Head Into The Democratic Debate in Iowa," 15 Jan. 2020 But so will white-collar jobs—managerial and office activity. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Could New Research on A.I. and White-Collar Jobs Finally Bring About a Strong Policy Response?," 14 Jan. 2020 Geminid meteors, radiating from the constellation Gemini, are often seen as slow-moving bright streaks of white light. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Celestial Events You Don’t Want to Miss in 2020," 14 Jan. 2020 There’s also a little bit of a white lie in glass skyscrapers. Kate Wagner, The New Republic, "A Clear Menace," 14 Jan. 2020 The plaintiffs were black, Latino and white families from Hartford. USA TODAY, "MLK, robot unemployment, Python Bowl: News from around our 50 states," 14 Jan. 2020 Keith Czeskleba said Hoover 911 received a robbery alarm at the Riverchase Shell Station at 7:31 a.m. Witnesses told police that a man wearing a white mask entered the Riverchase Parkway East store with a handgun and demanded money from the clerk. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "2-time convicted robber now jailed in Hoover store holdup," 14 Jan. 2020 Last week, the British film academy nominated only white performers, leading Erivo to decline an invitation to perform. Author: Jake Coyle, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Joker,’ ‘The Irishman,’ ‘1917’ and ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’ top Oscar nominations," 13 Jan. 2020 His decent polling in predominantly white Iowa is just the cherry on top of his thus-far unshakable strength with voters of color elsewhere, whose support could provide Biden with a path to the Democratic nomination. Los Angeles Times, "What time is the January Democratic debate, and what’s at stake for the candidates onstage?," 13 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Why were there separate water fountains for whites and blacks when the water was surely the same? Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, "Congressman John Lewis faces another epic fight in 2020," 31 Dec. 2019 As elsewhere in the Midwest, the rightward shift this denoted was driven by working-class whites and flagging union membership. The Economist, "Fahrenheit Wisconsin," 18 Dec. 2019 The post included four photos of the couple dressed in white and carrying bouquets of flowers, according to the news outlet. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Claudia López, Bogota's first woman mayor, marries female partner in Colombia," 18 Dec. 2019 Authorities are investigating potential connections between the attackers and the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, some of whose members are known to rail against whites and Jews, a law enforcement official familiar with the case said. Jim Mustian, The Denver Post, "New Jersey mayor says attackers targeted Jewish market," 11 Dec. 2019 More than a hundred Arizona wineries churn out crowd pleasing and award-winning wares that run the gamut from light whites and bold reds. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Everything you need to know about buying wine for the holidays," 10 Dec. 2019 From soft whites and creams to light brown paint colors and everything in between (greige paint colors, anyone?), these do-it-all shades are perfect for any room, aesthetic, and price point. Chelsea Evers, Country Living, "12 Best Neutral Paint Colors You've Been Looking For," 5 Dec. 2019 The result is typically a festive, elegant look with traditional colors such as reds, champagne gold, whites and greens. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Landscaper aims for a clean and simple holiday look in her Wauwatosa Tudor," 5 Dec. 2019 But that may discount just how strong the president’s support is, especially among rural and working-class whites and retirees. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "These are the swing voters in Michigan who will sway 2020 election," 2 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of white

Adjective

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for white

Adjective

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

Verb

Middle English, from white, adjective

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Time Traveler for white

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for white

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“White.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiter. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for white

white

adjective
How to pronounce White (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of white

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

noun

English Language Learners Definition of white (Entry 2 of 2)

: the very light color of fresh snow or milk
: white clothing
: white clothes used to play sports

white

adjective
\ ˈhwīt How to pronounce white (audio) , ˈwīt \
whiter; whitest

Kids Definition of white

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from white

whiteness noun

white

noun

Kids Definition of white (Entry 2 of 2)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on white

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for white

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with white

Spanish Central: Translation of white

Nglish: Translation of white for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of white for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about white

Comments on white

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