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

colorless, tintless [archaic], uncolored, undyed, unpainted, unstained

Antonyms: Adjective

colored, colorized, dyed, hued, painted, pigmented, stained, tinct, tinctured, tinged, tinted

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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

The Belgian researchers developed a way to scan placenta samples using ultra-short pulses from a laser that made the black carbon particles flash a bright white light, so they could be measured. Washington Post, "Study finds air pollution reaches placenta during pregnancy," 17 Sep. 2019 There are blues, fluorescent oranges and yellows splashed all over the ball, whilst the iconic Champions League stars stand out in white with solid black outlines. SI.com, "Champions League: adidas Unveil Official Ball for 2019/20 Group Stage Games," 17 Sep. 2019 The Czech Republic has submitted Vaclav Marhoul's dark and disturbing black-and-white film The Painted Bird for the best international feature category at the 92nd Academy Awards. Nick Holdsworth, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscars: Czech Republic Picks 'The Painted Bird' for International Feature Category," 16 Sep. 2019 That scatters away all but the reddish components of the white light of the moon. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Mike Lynch: The harvest moon is shining bright this week," 15 Sep. 2019 On one wall is a black-and-white photo of his academy class. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fall arts 2019 | Books: At 82, Joseph Wambaugh may be done writing, but his influence endures," 15 Sep. 2019 The deli where a bagel should be followed up with a black-and-white alfajor Carpenters Hall Austin The plate-size cutlet says it all at this way-more-than-a hotel restaurant. Bon Appétit, "Our 50 Nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants 2019," 10 Sep. 2019 Balls used to be either black or white until the late 1960s when matches started being televised. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Hurricane heroes, a football brotherhood and an adventurous sloth," 7 Sep. 2019 Over the audio is beautifully produced black-and-white video of Brown working out, wearing Raiders gear and playing with his kids. Michael Nowels, The Mercury News, "Watch: Antonio Brown posts video featuring call with Jon Gruden on YouTube," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In Baltimore County, 80% of sworn police officers are white, while whites are just 57% of the county’s overall population, according to census data. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Across the board, Baltimore area police departments are much whiter than the people they serve," 11 Sep. 2019 Like Karla suggested, winter whites are all about choosing the right fabrics. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "10 white styles you should totally wear after Labor Day," 29 Aug. 2019 But great whites aren’t the only shark species that swim in Massachusetts waters. Don Lyman, BostonGlobe.com, "Besides great whites, there’s little to fear among local sharks," 14 Aug. 2019 This was reflected in the overall performance ratings, where the firms that were intentionally made to look stronger were rated as higher quality when run by whites. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Investment managers don’t understand how to rate funds managed by black people," 13 Aug. 2019 The reason for this lack of interest, Coates observed, is that the Civil War is remembered in popular culture as a war between North and South, not a war over slavery—which is another way of saying, a war between whites. Eric Herschthal, The New Republic, "How Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Novel Reckons With the Past," 17 Sep. 2019 Non-Hispanic whites have gone from 83.5 percent of the population to about 60 percent today. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Patrios," 16 Sep. 2019 Their strategy is to shore up Biden’s support among the rest of the Democratic alliance, including moderates, minorities, and whites who didn’t complete college. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Joe Biden at the Third Democratic Debate: the Good, the Bad, and the Record Player," 13 Sep. 2019 Two toddlers, one black and one white, saw each other on the streets of New York. Kendall Trammell, CNN, "These two toddlers are showing us what real-life besties look like," 10 Sep. 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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Learn More about white

Dictionary Entries near white

whistly

whit

Whitby

white

White

White's thrush

whiteacre

Statistics for white

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for white

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

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More Definitions for white

white

adjective

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.
3 : silvery
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with white

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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