Definition of nonwhite in US English:



  • Denoting or relating to a person whose origin is not predominantly European.

    ‘minority teachers serve as positive role models for nonwhite students’
    • ‘What then are the reasonable openings for non-white actors in plays which, as a matter of historical fact, were written with white actors in mind?’
    • ‘In the United States there was also at first no restriction on immigration, at least until non-white persons began immigrating in large numbers.’
    • ‘Ben, if you don't believe in violence against non-white people, why did you so actively partake in it?’
    • ‘The other problem is that many of the really great non-white reporters out there are just too much in demand.’
    • ‘After a brief spell, the French decided the universal rights of man did not apply to non-white people.’
    • ‘But I have more non-white friends in Greensboro, Alabama than I do in London.’
    • ‘Sadly, for non-white people associated with football, racist comments come as no surprise.’
    • ‘It took the nation almost three quarters of a century to accept non-white immigrants.’
    • ‘Other reports of the march suggested that among the crowd there was quite a high percentage of non-white people, overwhelmingly Muslims.’
    • ‘By 1966 most of the regulations restricting immigration of non-white people to Australia had been removed and multiculturalism was adopted.’
    • ‘It reveals that more than half of whites have no non-white friends and that only 20 per cent of whites have a Muslim friend.’
    • ‘I try to put that pro-immigrant message and the interests of immigrants and non-white people in the center.’
    • ‘The residual vote rate of a county does depend on the percent of non-white residents in the county.’
    • ‘‘Dark’ included pure brown eyes, usually of non-white people, and all other shades of brown.’
    • ‘Teaching American history without stirring accounts of non-white heroes and cultures is irresponsible as well as divisive.’
    • ‘When Springbok head coach Jake White announced his squad, there were 11 non-white players in it.’
    • ‘Our family lived in a small town in the interior of B.C. and we were the only family that had non-white children.’
    • ‘Subsequent legislation in 1971 and 1981 has made it more difficult for non-white immigrants to enter.’
    • ‘Everyone was for tariff protection and everyone was against non-white migrants.’
    • ‘After all, so many of these new post-1965 immigrants are non-white people living in a predominantly white society.’


  • A person whose origin is not predominantly European.

    • ‘A few non-whites have starred for the national team, but you will rarely see more than a sprinkling of non-white faces - usually imported South Sea islanders - at any Premiership rugby match.’
    • ‘Race laws touched every aspect of social life, including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites, and the sanctioning of ‘white-only’ jobs.’
    • ‘According to a study by the Hudson Institute, by 2020, there will be 10 percent fewer whites and 30 percent more non-whites in the workforce.’
    • ‘Now, why would the American people, especially non-whites, be suspicious of authority?’
    • ‘A Newsweek poll in 2000 that measured white and non-white attitudes toward the death penalty found that nearly 60 percent of non-whites support the death penalty.’
    • ‘But the overall figures for employment and education show persistent discrimination against the vast majority of non-whites in Britain, though the experience varies for different groups.’
    • ‘He used non-white nurses to assist him in his operations - a first in South Africa where non-whites previously were not allowed to treat white patients.’
    • ‘In Montreal, non-whites only make up 13 per cent of the population.’
    • ‘My grandparents' generation wasn't quite so bad, but the only relationships they ever had with non-white people were ones where the non-whites were, essentially, servile.’
    • ‘The legislation was enforced by a dictation test, which could be applied in any European language, effectively barring virtually all non-whites.’
    • ‘Cable has been an amazing place for expression, for African-Americans and for non-whites in general.’
    • ‘Native Americans still suffer the same discrimination as did other non-whites and women decades ago.’
    • ‘The whole point is that anywhere in the world in which non-whites live in proximity with whites, the non-whites are marginalized and exploited.’
    • ‘She blames negative experiences with white people and biased historical accounts of relations between whites and non-whites.’
    • ‘That must surely give comfort to minority groups or to non-whites who feel disenfranchised.’
    • ‘For every 1,000 people in the county, 8.8 white people were stopped and searched, compared with 33.4 for non-whites.’
    • ‘It was also supported by trades unions, which feared that non-whites would agree to work for lower wages than Europeans and so undercut their standard of living.’
    • ‘The levels reported in this sample, however, are consistent with previous findings, which show that non-whites are more likely than whites to conceal a history of prior abortions.’
    • ‘Sure, it's an illogical thing, but it's still a true thing, and while there are certainly non-whites with power, that doesn't matter so much for rhetorical purposes.’
    • ‘He freely admits he can give examples of racism toward indigenous people from non-whites, but chooses to ignore it in fear of pleasing far right racists.’


The term nonwhite has been objected to on the grounds that it assumes that the norm is white. However, although alternatives such as person of color have begun to be used more widely in recent years, they may not be appropriate in all contexts. Nonwhite continues to be broadly accepted where a collective term is required to show a distinction, as in statistical or demographic categories. See also person of color