white·wash·ing | \ˈhwīt-ˌwȯ-shiŋ, ˈwīt-, -ˌwä-\

Definition of whitewashing 

: an act or instance of applying whitewash also : whitewash sense 3

Examples of whitewashing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The film will be directed by Rupert Sanders, according to the Hollywood Reporter, who is the director behind Ghost in the Shell, the 2016 movie which was heavily criticized for its whitewashing of a popular Japanese manga series. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Scarlett Johansson Will Reportedly Play a Trans Man in New Movie "Rub & Tug"," 3 July 2018 Jughead is outraged and wonders why no one knows this story and Toni is like, welcome to the whitewashing of history, Jones. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 2 Episode 11: Archie and Hiram Lodge Finally Face Off," 25 Jan. 2018 Earlier — during, say, the 1940s or ‘50s — and the media practices of the era, the godding-up of famous athletes and the whitewashing of their flaws, would have allowed him to be painted as a colorful bon vivant, entertaining but harmless. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "Lenny Dykstra's latest incident leaves no doubt about who he really is | Mike Sielski," 25 May 2018 The documentary certainly isn't a whitewashing, devoting considerable time to the Keating Five scandal, which threatened McCain's Senate career and informed his push for campaign-finance reform. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'John McCain' offers definitive portrait of maverick senator," 23 May 2018 With Ghost’s failure as Exhibit C, Hollywood might be ready to stop ignoring whitewashing critiques and start listening. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Ghost in the Shell," 5 Apr. 2017 Other commentators also noted the similarities but used harsher terms like plagiarism or whitewashing. Monica Castillo, New York Times, "Why ‘Real Women Have Curves’ Never Got Its ‘Lady Bird’ Moment," 23 Feb. 2018 In a year in which the N.F.L.’s bumbling relationship to race has been at its most visible, this whitewashing has a particularly acrid smell. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Justin Timberlake, Playing It Safe, Seeks Super Bowl Redemption," 4 Feb. 2018 The furor grew louder as time passed, eventually serving as a prime example of the whitewashing controversy that has generated discussion in film and TV circles as of late. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Ghost in the Shell," 5 Apr. 2017

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

1663, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for whitewashing

The first known use of whitewashing was in 1663

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More from Merriam-Webster on whitewashing

Nglish: Translation of whitewashing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whitewashing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on whitewashing

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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