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 report said 15 percent of people in all stops, and 7 percent of those involved in non-ticket stops, were white. Paul Duggan, Washington Post, "A disproportionate number of D.C. police stops involved African Americans," 9 Sep. 2019 Actors who have previously played Copperfield onscreen have generally been white, including Daniel Radcliffe, who starred in the 1999 BBC adaptation. Nigel Smith, PEOPLE.com, "Dev Patel Accidentally 'UFC Elbowed' Tilda Swinton While Making Movie: 'Her Teeth Are Intact'," 7 Sep. 2019 Nearly 40 percent of Americans identify as being non-white, but 80–90 percent of participants in most clinical trials are white. Wired, "An AI-Run World Needs to Better Reflect People of Color," 6 Sep. 2019 Guyger, who is white, was off-duty at the time of the shooting, which occurred one year ago on Friday. Dakin Andone And Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Jury selection to begin in trial of Dallas officer Amber Guyger, who shot a man in his own apartment," 6 Sep. 2019 Smith is white; Gunn, whom family and neighbors said fetched groceries and mowed lawns for the elderly in his Mobile Heights neighborhood, was African American. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, "Johnson: A charged police officer, a change of venue to ... Simi Valley, AL?," 6 Sep. 2019 When examining race and ethnicity, the study found that 70% of female characters in speaking roles were white, up 3 percentage points from the previous year. Yvonne Villarrealstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "77% of TV shows have no women creators. Here’s how that ripples across the industry," 4 Sep. 2019 Of more than 430 ninth graders enrolled this year, about 93% are African American, nearly 6% are Latino, and less than 1% are white, closely reflecting the demographics of the neighborhood. Hannah Leone, chicagotribune.com, "Englewood is losing 4 high schools, but a new STEM campus is seen as ‘huge opportunity’ for the struggling neighborhood," 2 Sep. 2019 The previous night, Chopra rocked a white tuxedo dress, which may have been inspired by the Duchess of Sussex. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra Just Wore Two Stunning Dresses in One Day," 31 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The election marked the formal end of a fifteen-year civil war, the British colonial era, and white-minority rule in a nation where blacks outnumbered whites twenty-two to one. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Robert Mugabe and the Fate of Democracy in Africa," 9 Sep. 2019 Non-Hispanic whites comprise about three fifths of the population, down from almost nine tenths in 1940. Noah Smith, Twin Cities, "Noah Smith: Ronald Reagan, the diversity president," 8 Sep. 2019 Nearly 40 percent of Americans identify as being non-white, but 80–90 percent of participants in most clinical trials are white. Wired, "An AI-Run World Needs to Better Reflect People of Color," 6 Sep. 2019 Back then, when a student at UT could pay $40 for entry into every single sporting event on campus — including football games — the burnt orange and white ruled the old Southwest Conference, not to mention Oklahoma. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how Michigan football, MSU will fare on Saturday | Opinion," 6 Sep. 2019 African-Americans do worse than whites in the city in school and college. A.r. | Chicago, The Economist, "Why Pete Buttigieg is losing momentum," 4 Sep. 2019 French Vanilla, which smells like French vanilla, is a light cream shade that transitions to off-white. Marci Robin, Allure, "These “Mood” Nail Polishes Don’t Just Change Color, They Also Smell Like Coffee Flavors," 3 Sep. 2019 Here are a sampling of some great blancs and biancos that are not just summer whites, but anytime wines. Rachel King, Fortune, "Seven Ways to Enjoy White (Wine) After Labor Day," 31 Aug. 2019 Max Lumens: 1000 | Beam Distance: 984 feet | Run Time: 4 to 40 hours | LED Colors: whiteFew lights have as much power or afford you as much control as this one. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The 8 Best Headlamps of 2019," 30 Aug. 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

12 Sep 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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