Meaning of WHITE in English

I. ˈhwīt also ˈwī-; usu -īd.+V adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English white, whit, from Old English hwīt; akin to Old High German hwīz, wīz white, Old Norse hvītr, Gothic hweits, Sanskrit śiśvinde it has become white, śveta white


a. : free from color : quite colorless and transparent


(1) : of a color like that of new snow or clean milk : having the color of good bond paper or the traditional lily ; specifically : of the color white

well-bleached linen is perfectly white

white roses

(2) of light : having some energy in nearly every part of the visible spectrum

c. : light or pallid in color: as

(1) : having the natural color largely abstracted through use or age : whitened , grayed

the white hairs of old age

a dress white from many washings

often : shown to be aged by whitened hair

this white old man

(2) : light yellow or amber in color

a white table wine

(3) : deficient in color : ashen , wan

lips white with fear

(4) : lustrous pale gray : silvery

cheap tableware of some white alloy

also : made of silver

(5) of cordage : not darkened by an impregnation of tar

(6) of an organism or one of its parts : deficient in pigmentation : albino , albinotic


a. of a human being

(1) archaic : having lightly pigmented skin, hair, and eyes : fair-complexioned : blonde

(2) sometimes capitalized : belonging to a racial group or subdivision of a racial group characterized by reduced skin pigmentation, typically represented by the European Caucasoids, and usually specifically distinguished from persons belonging to groups marked by black, brown, yellow, or red skin coloration

(3) : being of white ancestry either wholly unmixed with Negro blood or having an admixture of Negro blood less than that specified in various statutes of some states of the United States

b. : of, relating to, or consisting of white and especially Caucasoid people

white races

white Australia

white schools

c. : marked by upright fairness : straightforward and kindly : square-dealing

a white man if ever there was one

3. : free from spot or blemish: as

a. : free from moral stain or impurity : outstandingly righteous : innocent

a white spirit

seeing everything as spiritually black or white

b. : unmarked by writing or printing

balancing the white spaces on the sheet

c. : not marked by or connected with malignant influences or intent : not intended to cause harm

a white lie

white magic

d. : burnished or polished until shining bright and free from spot or mar

clad in white armor

e. : notably pleasing or auspicious : favorable , fortunate

4. : clothed or covered with something white: as


(1) : wearing or habited in white

white friars

also : of, relating to, or being a religious order (as the Carmelite) of which the garb is white

a white abbey

(2) : wearing white armor

a white knight

b. : covered with snow : snowy

the white hills of a northern winter

also : marked by the presence of snow

a long white winter

hoping for a white Christmas

c. : made white by some covering deposit

floors white with dust

5. obsolete

a. : designed to make a good impression : superficially pleasing or plausible : specious

b. : regarded with especial favor : favorite


a. archaic

(1) of a grain crop : becoming lighter colored in ripening

(2) of soil : suited to the growing of white crops

b. : that is whitened in the course of processing or purifying

white soap

a fine white flour



(1) : heated to the point of whiteness — see white heat

(2) : characteristic of a white heat

metal heated to a white glow

b. : notably ardent : violently heated : passionate

a white fury


[so used from the white flag of the Bourbons]

a. : being or acting in opposition to a radical or revolutionary policy or doctrine : ultraconservative or reactionary in outlook and action

a white faction in French politics

— compare red 7a

b. : instigated or carried out by reactionary forces usually as a counterrevolutionary measure

a white terror

a white purge

9. : not featuring open warfare and the shedding of blood but involving oblique methods

a white war of propaganda and bribery

10. : 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

II. adverb

( -er/-est )

: in a fair upright manner : decently , whitely

treated us white

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English white, whit, from Old English hwīt, from hwīt, adjective


a. : the neutral or achromatic object color of greatest lightness : the lightest gray : the achromatic color bearing the least resemblance to black

b. : the one of the six psychologically primary colors that is characteristically perceived to belong to objects which reflect diffusely nearly all incident energy throughout the visible spectrum

c. : any of several object colors of very low or zero saturation and high or very high lightness ; especially : a very light gray


a. : a white-colored part of something (as meat or wood): as

(1) : a clear semifluid mass of albuminous material surrounding the yolk of an egg — see egg illustration

(2) : the white part of the ball of the eye surrounding the transparent cornea

(3) whites plural : blank spaces in a printed picture or design ; also : the corresponding parts of a plate or mold

(4) : the light-colored pieces in a two-handed board game ; also : the player by whom or the side of the board from which these are played

(5) whites plural : wing feathers of the male ostrich

b. : a white spot: as

(1) archaic : a white target

(2) : the fifth or outermost circle of an archery target ; also : a shot that hits it

(3) : a light-colored mark shot at in rovers

(4) : a mark pinned on a butt

3. : one that is or approaches the color white: as


(1) : white clothing

the bride was dressed in white

(2) whites plural : a white costume of a usually specified kind

naval personnel in summer whites

tennis whites

b. : white cloth

c. : white wine


(1) : a white mammal (as a horse or a hog) — compare chester white , yorkshire

(2) : any of numerous butterflies of Pieris and related genera in which the color is usually white

the cabbage butterfly is often known as the cabbage white

e. : a white pigment (as zinc oxide)

f. : a white-colored product (as white flour, pins, or sugar) — usually used in plural

4. archaic : silver ; especially : a silver coin

5. whites plural : leukorrhea

6. often capitalized : a person with a white skin : a member of the Caucasoid division of mankind

7. often capitalized

a. : a member of a white party especially in European politics ; especially : one of the Bianchi

b. : a person of ultraconservative political outlook : reactionary

- in the white

IV. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English whiten, from white (I)

: whiten

V. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: alteration of obsolete thwite, from Middle English thwiten — more at whittle

Britain : cut , whittle

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.