Definition of white in English:



  • 1Of the colour of milk or fresh snow, due to the reflection of all visible rays of light; the opposite of black.

    ‘a sheet of white paper’
    • ‘Adults are black except for white wing linings visible when the birds are soaring.’
    • ‘This September several of the stalks have bloomed with pretty white flowers that have a very nice scent.’
    • ‘Brighten up a plain white bathroom with these fresh colours from Dulux.’
    • ‘The bedspread was white as snow, the pillow large and fluffy, the room screamed spring.’
    • ‘The bright lights reflect off the white tiles and the mirrors and hurt my skin.’
    • ‘Perched on a tiny, tear-shaped island in the middle of the lake sat a small, white church shrouded in trees.’
    • ‘At the moment, it is festooned with masses of clusters of white flowers which give a thick, heady scent.’
    • ‘On the floors were white ceramic tiles that reflected the fluorescent lights overhead.’
    • ‘Do not wear white socks with dark-colored dress shoes.’
    • ‘I smiled at my reflection and my pearly white teeth were visible and stood out from my tanned face.’
    • ‘The light reflected off my white lab coat as it billowed behind my thin frame.’
    • ‘The instruments are also more distinctive, black figures on white background and very clear too.’
    • ‘She saw treetops covered in white snow, which glistened and sparkled in the light of the sun.’
    • ‘New England, with its little white fences, glittering snow and bare trees was beautiful!’
    • ‘The sun shines in the sky, which is bright blue with a few pearl white clouds hovering above.’
    • ‘The lone winds teased the white drifts of snow into the air, reminding me oddly of Fantasia.’
    • ‘He was wearing a black jacket with white reflection marks, dark blue jeans and trainers.’
    • ‘On good days, it could also smell like a hot steam iron on a fresh white sheet.’
    • ‘He had blond hair and was wearing a light coloured jacket, white trousers and black shoes.’
    • ‘Another way of creating the impression of large spaces is to have light colour or white flooring.’
    colourless, unpigmented, undyed, bleached, natural
    snowy, snowy-white, grey, silver, silvery, hoary, grizzled
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Very pale.
      ‘her face was white with fear’
      • ‘He span in his chair, and his old and rugged face was white with fear.’
      • ‘Two days later Jacek comes running into the house, his face white.’
      • ‘Marc dressed in black, looking thin as a rake and white as a sheet.’
      • ‘Cautiously, he rolled her over to find her face pale, deathly white, and covered with blood.’
      • ‘He looked awful - he was paper white, even his lips, and he had dark shadows under his eyes.’
      • ‘He sees me looking at him, turns pale white, and runs over to the room.’
      • ‘Her face was as white as snow, and her hair as black as ink, and her lips as red as the blood on her gravestone.’
      • ‘Wait, there he was leaning against a tree, looking as white and shaken as everyone else.’
      • ‘But Melissa did not go white with fear.’
      • ‘White scars stood prominently out against her tanned skin.’
      • ‘Kay's face turned pale white, so white that she looked like a ghost.’
      • ‘I saw Chris's knuckles turn white from his tight grip on the steering wheel.’
      • ‘Some had mist-filled eyes while many a countenance went white as a sheet of paper.’
      • ‘I looked to my father and was stricken at how white his lips were.’
      • ‘I'm usually the poor sap sitting right next to her who is white with fear.’
      • ‘Tightening her grasp on the tray until her knuckles turn white, Rena suddenly nods.’
      • ‘His knuckles were white from the tight grip he had had on his sheets and pillow.’
      • ‘His color had gone from grey to milky white, and it was almost as if he were writhing in pain.’
      • ‘However, that wasn't what had made him go white with fear.’
      • ‘His face was white with fear and his eyes were wide and panicked.’
      pale, pallid, wan, ashen, white as a ghost, white as a sheet, grey, anaemic, jaundiced, colourless, bloodless, waxen, chalky, chalk-white, milky, pasty, pasty-faced, whey-faced, peaky, sickly, tired-looking, washed out, sallow, drained, drawn, sapped, ghostly, deathly, deathlike, bleached
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2(of a plant) having white flowers or pale-coloured fruit.
      • ‘The most delicate is the classic white marguerite, Argyranthemum frutenscens.’
      • ‘Hanging in garlands on the sides of the tables, trees, and the fountain were white lilies.’
      • ‘A mixture of tree resin, roots of white lilies and dried human excrement should be applied to the places where the body has been cut open.’
      • ‘Vegetation such as gorse, heather and white grass is considered to be high fire risk while grassland is low risk.’
      • ‘I look up at Jeremiah whose rearranging the white lilies on the coffee table in front of the couch.’
      • ‘We put sprigs of white hyacinth in a glass tumbler and placed it on a tray with candles.’
      • ‘She leaned against one of the white cherry blossom trees and began to hum to herself.’
    3. 1.3(of a tree) having light-coloured bark.
      • ‘It doesn't matter if you collect the seeds from a White Dogwood or a Pink Dogwood, the seedlings are likely to be white.’
      • ‘All trees between these white oaks and the grassy opening were under 36 years of age.’
      • ‘The fifth biggest tree in the east is the famous white oak at Wye Mills, Maryland.’
      • ‘Not only was it the biggest white oak, it was the biggest tree of any kind ever measured in Maryland.’
      • ‘I sighed deeply and took a seat on the grass, bracing next to a tall white oak tree.’
    4. 1.4(of wine) made from white grapes, or dark grapes with the skins removed, and having a yellowish colour.
      • ‘Whisk the white wine, rum, sugar, lemon and orange zest and lemon and orange juice together in a bowl.’
      • ‘We ordered glasses of white Lillet, a sweet French apéritif wine from Bordeaux.’
      • ‘Pinot Gris seems to have come out of nowhere to be the trendy white wine in New Zealand and overseas.’
      • ‘Contemporary palates, myself included, view sauvignon as one of the most useful white wines in the rack.’
      • ‘It has become a bit famous in recent years for its white wines, especially chenin blanc.’
      • ‘This splendidly frisky Italian white wine from Piedmont is made from the Cortese grape.’
      • ‘Some is made with red grapes in the same way as still rosé, but most by mixing a little red wine into white champagne.’
      • ‘The white wine is from his wife Catherine's family vineyard in South Africa.’
      • ‘With white wines they progress from almost water clear when young, to gold and amber in old age.’
      • ‘And what sauvignon blanc does for white wines, cabernet sauvignon can do for reds.’
      • ‘I would generally allow about one kilo for two generous helpings and serve with crusty bread and chilled crisp white muscadet.’
      • ‘He then suggested that we start the tasting session with a white wine.’
      • ‘When allowed to warm close to room temperature, it is one of the finest white wines I have ever had.’
      • ‘If a glass of dry white retsina transports you and your palate back to the sun-kissed beaches of Greece, well, okay.’
      • ‘This is achieved by pressing the red grapes rapidly to produce white wine without a trace of colour.’
      • ‘Begin with an aperitif such as a glass of chilled white port.’
      • ‘For the broth, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, simmer the white wine for one minute.’
      • ‘For all that, Grossman drinks more white wine than red, partly because he eats a lot of fish and vegetarian food.’
      • ‘Place the cleaned mussels and clams into a large pan and pour over the white wine.’
      • ‘Among white wines, Chardonnay stands up better to being boxed than most grape varieties.’
    5. 1.5British (of coffee or tea) served with milk or cream.
      • ‘Just don't ask for a white coffee - you'll get condensed milk already in the cup, urgh.’
      • ‘She was still smiling when she carried the two white coffees up the rickety wooden stairs.’
      • ‘We drank flat white coffees, and Ray noticed me looking at the blurry blue tattoo on his forearm.’
    6. 1.6(of food such as bread or rice) light in colour as a result of a refining process.
      • ‘Buy different types of bread from a baker's instead of flabby sliced white loaves.’
      • ‘I always ate white rice until I read that you can sustain yourself on brown rice alone.’
      • ‘These are made of white toast with their crusts cut off, and are filled with smoked salmon and prawn mayonnaise.’
      • ‘I also had to give up white and wheat flour because they block the digestive process.’
      • ‘If you do not like the Indian version then you get nasty white toast and bright red jam that tastes like bubble gum.’
      • ‘I snack on tons of Inarizushi - it's white rice stuffed inside sweetened tofu wrapping.’
      • ‘I'm off to the supermarket later to clear the shelves of white sliced bread and tins of baked beans.’
      • ‘Today, as usual, he would eat a bowl of muesli with extra sugar and two pieces of white toast, coated in apricot jam.’
      • ‘Nihan pointed out a popular dish where a raw egg is mixed with hot white rice and soy sauce.’
      • ‘The slices of thick, airy, white loaf with burnt crusts lathered in creamy butter were completely moreish.’
      • ‘I made a loaf of white soda bread and a batch of cheese scones for lunch on Saturday.’
      • ‘White bran does not impart the bitter taste associated with red bran.’
      • ‘The main ingredient in French bread is white flour, which has very little nutritional value.’
      • ‘You can also, while they last, have granary or white crusty rolls or sliced bread.’
      • ‘For lunch I like corned beef, white rice and fried onions, which I've eaten for as long as I can remember.’
      • ‘A basket full of warm, fluffy-soft, white French bread heralded the meal.’
    7. 1.7(of glass) transparent; colourless.
      • ‘In the middle there lay a small table, with a cloudy white glass sphere in the middle.’
      • ‘A generous front in white glass curves out to form porches for the two main entrance doors.’
      • ‘Her initial technique was animating beach sand on white glass lit from below.’
      • ‘She offered you both hard candy from a white glass bowl and looked into your daughter's face.’
  • 2Belonging to or denoting a human group having light-coloured skin (chiefly used of peoples of European extraction)

    ‘a white farming community’
    • ‘Most participants were white Europeans who were being treated by their general practitioner.’
    • ‘Imagine the uproar had a white European leader demanded the removal from power of anyone with Indian origins.’
    • ‘There may be people in England and Wales who refer to white South Africans as Africans but I would not expect them to be numerous.’
    • ‘In the colonial context, the camera wielded by white Europeans was an intrusive weapon of domination.’
    • ‘A different reaction or argument of white Southerners in respect to recent events in the South is bewilderment.’
    • ‘Stofile claimed there was a perception that they looked at granting amnesty only to white perpetrators.’
    • ‘The Pass Laws meant that everyone had to carry an ID card which indicated whether they were white, coloured or black.’
    • ‘The car driver was white, wore glasses and had a chubby build.’
    • ‘No longer can the elite class be categorized homogenously as white and European.’
    • ‘The intruder was described as being a clean shaven white male with glasses and around 55 years old.’
    • ‘Obviously, that old-fashioned confidence primarily belongs to the white middle class.’
    • ‘Why is it that almost everything in my home was invented by a white, mostly European male?’
    • ‘Two of the survivors are white European and the rest are mainland Chinese nationals.’
    • ‘The ten commissioners, five of whom are white and five black, voted along colour lines.’
    • ‘Are there things that a White woman can do to get ahead in the workplace that you think a Black woman never could do?’
    • ‘Lee apparently had enough money to hire an expensive white lawyer and served only a short jail term.’
    • ‘As a person born with white skin, I do not pretend to speak on behalf of people of colour.’
    • ‘She called for the Asian and white communities to pull together and support her.’
    • ‘His passenger was white, with fair skin and hair that was shaved at the back.’
    • ‘Nearly all the nation's 4000 white farmers have been served with forfeiture notices.’
    caucasian, european, non-black
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Relating to white people.
      ‘white Australian culture’
      • ‘To claim that the global acceptance of a US passport somehow equals white imperialism is silly.’
      • ‘Anybody who tried to assert white culture was automatically a member of the BNP.’
      • ‘We black people like to think of ourselves as somehow outside of mainstream white culture.’
      • ‘The dominant white culture is killing us slowly with its ignorance.’
      • ‘Why would a culture like white Christian society suddenly abandon itself and admit its crimes?’
      • ‘The sin that you commit is to give this ‘mentality’ credence by reducing it solely to white racism.’
      • ‘The South lost the Civil War, but it did not thereby lose its dedication to white supremacy.’
      • ‘Youths were as fed up with black leadership as they were with white supremacy.’
      • ‘Thurmond dropped overt appeals to white supremacy only after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.’
      • ‘Her literary debut, The Grass Is Singing, exposed the moral bankruptcy of the white settler culture.’
      • ‘They identified more with black and Latino American culture than white American culture.’
      • ‘The speaker is William Buckley, two years after his return to white society.’
      • ‘The major causes were white lust for land and the gap between Indian and white cultures.’
      • ‘The Republican campaign in Mississippi made heavy use of barely disguised appeals to white racism.’
      • ‘Second, a number of recent historians have maintained that Northerners were as committed to white supremacy as Southerners.’
      • ‘The BRIT awards show does not exist to celebrate white culture - or any other kind of culture come to that.’
      • ‘This was a startling shift for a company that was an icon of white American culture.’
      • ‘Black nationalism was centered on blackness and saw no value in white culture and religion.’
    2. 2.2South African historical Reserved by law for those classified as white.
  • 3historical Counter-revolutionary or reactionary.

    Contrasted with red


  • 1[mass noun] White colour or pigment.

    ‘garnet-red flowers flecked with white’
    • ‘There are no vegetables, and in fact the plate is colourless beyond the eerie white of these Polish dumplings.’
    • ‘The ceiling was a soft rosy color and the floor was tiled in sky blue and white.’
    • ‘The vases in this collection come in midnight black and pristine white.’
    • ‘She slid it open and the first colour she saw was white, a stark, blinding white.’
    • ‘Erial, as was her wont, chose mostly whites and other pale, unobtrusive colours.’
    • ‘In daylight, the human brain reacts more quickly to fluorescent colours than any other shade-even white.’
    • ‘Patriotic colours of red, navy and white as well as pastel tweeds were striking.’
    • ‘So I've stripped out the colours and reverted to plain black on white.’
    • ‘A couple of weeks ago, when I changed the colour scheme of this site to red and white, England won.’
    • ‘They oppose it with tint, which is the opposite process of adding white to a colour, to desaturate it.’
    • ‘In reality, it's better to mix white with shades of ivory, almond, ecru and tan.’
    • ‘My husband said ‘no’ because we've got to stick to the club colours of black and white.’
    • ‘Shocking half-page pictures in colour and black and white underline the story throughout.’
    • ‘Rays of pure red and white flew off in random directions, leaving only a vivid rose.’
    • ‘In spring the fritillaries flower, turning the meadow into a mass of purple and white.’
    • ‘Ivory seems to be the colour most brides-to-be are favouring as white may be a little stark in terms of matching accessories.’
    • ‘Smitty is very experienced, not only in diving but in life, as the flecks of white in his beard attest.’
    • ‘Black dominates the whole collection, but red, beige and white are also prominent throughout.’
    • ‘In my dreams, his hair and skin tone are the same as mine, except he has no purple pigments embedded in his pallid white.’
    • ‘Instead they decided to defer the matter to give the park time to change the colour scheme to all white to make it look less conspicuous.’
    1. 1.1White clothes or material.
      ‘he was dressed from head to foot in white’
      • ‘Greece will play in white with blue trim while Portugal wear red shirts with green shorts.’
      • ‘A fleeting video image of a woman dressed in white and moving through moonlit trees cast a spell of love and mystery.’
      • ‘I am wearing dark green and white with a purple scarf - suffragette colours.’
      • ‘Molly stood up in surprise and noticed that she was now wearing a gauzy dress of iridescent white.’
      • ‘Upon the terrace was a beautiful woman, garbed in a flowing silk gown of glowing white.’
      • ‘At the time Michael did not realise where Kilgarvan was, but saw that they were dressed in red and white.’
      • ‘She was dressed in a cowboy outfit of bright green and white, contrasting perfectly with the colour of the horse.’
      • ‘In the small room next to the car porch sat a middle aged person, dressed in full white.’
      • ‘The dashes of red had gone and there were a number of highly contrasting garments in black and white.’
      • ‘Next to her sat an old lady dressed in white who peered at Komal with screwed up eyes.’
      • ‘Two dancers in white make a classical assignation, she on pointe, he in heroic blouson.’
      • ‘In the shop and outside are divinely tailored ladies, all dressed in black and white.’
      • ‘She wore a newly fashioned gown of shimmering white, a delicate veil and a golden circlet.’
      • ‘She stood before the throne of her master in armor of purest white edged in gold.’
      • ‘The grand pas de deux was danced in white with red trim and while Kitri's costume was beautiful the stiff tutu lacked grace.’
      • ‘The lovers are all in white with costumes of a variety of nineteenth century periods.’
      • ‘We left our blazers on a chair, then made to the rooms and got dressed in the same white.’
      • ‘She could see them now, humans dressed in white with their faces covered by strange masks.’
      • ‘Hundreds of people dressed in the traditional white with red scarves take part in each run.’
      • ‘Nearly everyone dresses in the traditional white with red neckerchiefs and sashes.’
    2. 1.2White clothes, especially as worn for playing cricket or tennis, as naval uniform, or in the context of washing.
      ‘wash whites separately to avoid them being dulled’
      • ‘One fine Saturday afternoon in Cape Town in April, Graeme Smith, the lantern-jawed South African cricket captain, pulled on his whites and strode out on to the turf.’
      • ‘Rush's portrait shows Warne in cricket whites tossing up a ball in the air.’
      • ‘Stewart, aged 16, is thrilled to own a set of chef's knives, a sparkling set of whites and a chef's hat.’
      • ‘Adults can wear either chef whites, company uniform, fancy dress or sports gear.’
      • ‘Literally and metaphorically, Lenny was everywhere, attending to every minute organisational detail and then getting into the ring in whites as a ref.’
      • ‘Hunter was standing at a commercial sized stove, dressed in chef whites, with an apron wrapped around his slim waist.’
      • ‘Nylon whites should be washed separately to avoid graying.’
      • ‘They swapped their cricket whites for oversized army helmets to pose as diggers in a re-enactment of a 1915 photograph.’
      • ‘Chef Passot was out saying goodnight in his whites, somehow more pristine than our crumbed and wine-smudged selves.’
      • ‘The MPs will don tall chefs' hats and traditional whites and toss pancakes in the air as they run.’
      • ‘Americans, in fact, could have ended up staying in striped caps and cricket whites.’
      • ‘Other uniform combinations included dress whites, dress blue pants with the Ike jacket, and dress blues in winter.’
      • ‘The foundation provided him with new cricket whites, boots, gloves, pads, anew bat, a helmet, six balls and a cricket bag.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the chef, appears in his whites and says ‘shut up and eat!’’
      • ‘You know the one I mean, the one where the guys all wore cricket whites and the women all had flowery dresses that button up the front.’
      • ‘An all-girl choir, dressed in cricket whites, rendered powerful and moving songs of praise and gratitude.’
      • ‘He walked through our cars in fresh whites with his tall chef's hat asking how we liked the meal.’
      • ‘Separate the light colors from the dark ones and try to wash whites separately.’
      • ‘Wash whites separately; light and medium colors together; and brights and darks by themselves.’
      • ‘A daring university student dressed in cricket whites, pads and a helmet gave an innovative spin to the concept of pitch invasion.’
    3. 1.3White wine.
      ‘a bottle of house white’
      • ‘The main varietals in Chile are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for whites and Cabernet, Merlot and Carmenere for reds.’
      • ‘The purity of these wines can be lost, or if you prefer diluted, in a blend, which is why most wine hacks like varietal whites, but drink blended reds.’
      • ‘Lighter foods, such as grilled fish, work best with more delicate whites such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light Chardonnay.’
      • ‘You will need bold summer food to cope with this sweet, hefty, toasty, nutty white.’
      • ‘Ultimately, his efforts produced a good dry red and a solid dry white from a full range of wines from the estate.’
      • ‘At £19.75, it was the best white that the wine list had to offer, which some might see as a lack of ambition in the cellar.’
      • ‘This honeyed, concentrated, sweet and sour style white is perfect with this dish.’
      • ‘We ordered a glass of house medium white for me, an apple juice for Lili.’
      • ‘The ripe, peachy La Mancha white displays lots of apple and pear-scented fruit.’
      • ‘For the great sweet Bordeaux whites, you need Sauternes of similar status and you go to d' Yquem, where they don't do red.’
      • ‘Her other two whites are both Chardonnays, one from Burgundy and one from California's Sonoma Valley.’
      • ‘There are four wine lists - two for reds, two for whites, divided into Spanish and foreign - and more than 700 wines, lots of which may be drunk by the glass.’
      • ‘Bordeaux whites, based on Sauvignon Blanc and sometimes blended with Semillon, are crisp and dry but usually not overtly herbaceous.’
      • ‘In general, Aussie reds are easy and lush while their whites (primarily Chardonnay and Semillon) are big and round.’
      • ‘Although Bordeaux is best known for its red wines, the region produces excellent whites, particularly the sweet Sauternes.’
      • ‘Made by a winery that makes great wines at every price point, this is a restrained, citrus fruity white.’
      • ‘I love big Italian red wines and New Zealand whites.’
      • ‘Semillon brings a lush texture to dry whites while Sauvignon Blanc brings an herbal raciness - a terrific combination.’
      • ‘We tasted a wide range of wines, from a sparkler to whites to reds to a very nice little semisparkler for dessert.’
      • ‘Sweeter whites, like Rieslings or Gewuerztraminers, are well suited to big, smoky flavors.’
    4. 1.4The player of the white pieces in chess or draughts.
      • ‘After this White's position is very bad because his pieces are so poorly placed for the middle-game.’
    5. 1.5[count noun]A white thing, in particular the white ball (the cue ball) in snooker or billiards.
      • ‘But a potted white by Perry let Ding back in and he cleared up to win.’
  • 2The visible pale part of the eyeball around the iris.

    • ‘His eyes, though still inhumanly brilliant, bore smaller irises and more pronounced whites - just like Arun's own.’
    • ‘You half expect to see orange dimpled leather instead of eye whites when you look at him, but there is nothing robotic about him.’
    • ‘In some people, the white of the eye can be seen above the iris at all times.’
    • ‘This is characterised by broken blood vessels on the whites of the eyes and in the skin.’
    • ‘You could only see the whites of her eyes and she was red hot.’
    • ‘Inflammation causes small blood vessels in the conjunctiva to become more prominent, resulting in a pinkish or reddish cast to the whites of your eyes.’
    • ‘Jo looked up, the whites of her eyes visible under the moon.’
    • ‘The whites of his eyes were large in my view and surrounding two jet black preternatural pupils unlike any I had seen before.’
    • ‘They looked like normal people until you saw their eyes, completely black, no whites or irises.’
    • ‘The absence of pigment in the human sclera (the whites of the eyes) highlights the iris and thereby enhances the interpretation of eye movements.’
    • ‘Viral conjunctivitis can spread to the cornea, the white of the eye.’
    • ‘The conjunctiva is a thin lining that covers the whites of the eyes and the insides of the eyelids.’
    • ‘When the liver is affected by hepatitis, it is unable to process the bilirubin and raised levels in the blood cause the whites of the eyes to go yellow and urine to become dark.’
    • ‘His eyes were wide, with the whites visible so starkly against his skin, and he was pushing his other hand onto his mouth, tightly, until the knuckles turned pale.’
    • ‘The gray pupils are glazed and the yellowed whites are striated with red.’
    • ‘This causes yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, darkening of the urine and pale clay coloured stools.’
  • 3The outer part (white when cooked) which surrounds the yolk of an egg; the albumen.

    • ‘To make the custard, separate the eggs and whisk the vanilla sugar into the yolks (save the whites for meringues).’
    • ‘Separate the eggs, putting the yolks and whites into separate large bowls.’
    • ‘Carefully crack your six eggs so that the raw yolks and whites are arranged fairly evenly inside the pastry-lined dish.’
    • ‘When you make the meringue, ensure you pour the syrup on to the egg whites while still hot, then it will ‘cook’ the whites and blow up into a dense, airy foam.’
    • ‘Six whites and one yolk yield 24 g of protein and 6 g of fat, much of it healthy.’
    • ‘Cool and peel the eggs, reserving the yolks and discarding the whites.’
    • ‘Crispy fried noodle threads and minced peppers add crunch; sieved egg yolks and whites add softness.’
    • ‘You may be used to eating the whites and discarding the yolks, but skip that step during pregnancy because the yolks provide extra calories, Vitamin D and folic acid.’
    • ‘Cook the eggs long enough to solidify the whites, but the yolks remain somewhat runny.’
    • ‘The whole thing is then cooked again to harden the whites around the yolk.’
    • ‘Put the fish stock and tomato sauce into a large saucepan with crushed shells and whites of four eggs.’
    • ‘Combine the egg yolks and whites and fold them carefully together.’
    • ‘Later, he decided that the result was improved if the yolk and white were cooked separately.’
    • ‘Suddenly dozens of eggs fell from the basket and smashed into a puddle of yolks and whites as he shifted the pole from one shoulder to the other.’
    • ‘Add 4 egg yolks (saving the whites for later) and thoroughly incorporate.’
    • ‘When the whites congeal, just spoon some water over the yellow yolks and the albumen will turn white, and you have your runny eggs.’
    • ‘Lightly whisk one-quarter of the whites into the custard to loosen it slightly, then carefully fold in the remainder.’
    • ‘You apparently mustn't have any yolk in the white if you are going to whisk it successfully.’
    • ‘Rather than stovetop stirring, you stabilize the souffle by beating sugar into the egg yolks and whites separately.’
    • ‘I brought in 64 eggs, separated the yolks from the whites and had the students varnish their paintings using haki brushes.’
  • 4A member of a light-skinned people, especially one of European extraction.

    • ‘Willingham grew up in the 1960s in Jacksonville, N.C., which prepared him for a world that often has different rules for blacks and whites.’
    • ‘He has also lambasted the European Union and declared verbal war on whites who tell blacks in Africa how to run free and fair elections.’
    • ‘In addition to a historical legacy of unequal care, black patients also appear to view suffering somewhat differently than whites of European background.’
    • ‘Hispanics descended from Europeans are no more heat-tolerant than other whites.’
    • ‘In fact, research suggests that when compared with whites of European descent, ethnic minorities exhibit greater variability in their preferences.’
    • ‘It is based on research that documents cultural differences between whites and blacks in communication styles.’
    • ‘Before Charles cracked that barrier, the country music scene was seen and regarded by many blacks and whites as the exclusive preserve of white, rural Southern singers.’
    • ‘In the present South African team there are no whites and blacks.’
    • ‘Wisdom teeth problems are more common among European whites compared to Orientals and blacks.’
    • ‘You know the old saying: No one gets a free lunch and that applies to blacks, whites and any other race.’
    • ‘As I read the Times' story, the issue in the survey was whether minority group members should be admitted over whites with higher test scores and grades.’
    • ‘African, Hispanic, and Native Americans are twice as likely to have gastric cancer as whites however.’
    • ‘Approximately one in seven whites was uninsured, and 10% had only public insurance.’
    • ‘Now, the complaint, at least from members of The New Black Panther Party, is that whites are moving in.’
    • ‘Civic leagues had been founded with the sole purpose of keeping whites from leasing to blacks.’
    • ‘Unlike whites and members of other ethnic groups, blacks who live in the suburbs are far wealthier than their city brethren.’
    • ‘Gilman grew up in the upper Upper West Side of New York, where whites were a very visible minority.’
    • ‘It is the most common lethal genetic disease in whites with 90% percent of the mortality due to pulmonary infections.’
    • ‘Dark-skinned people in Brazil are more likely to be poor than light skinned-people and whites have average monthly incomes almost two and a half times greater than nonwhites.’
    • ‘One audience member asked whether whites should go out of their way to develop black friends.’
  • 5[with modifier] A white or cream butterfly which has dark veins or spots on the wings and can be a serious crop pest.


[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Paint or turn (something) white.

    ‘your passion hath whited your face’
    become white, make white, become pale, make pale, bleach, blanch, lighten, fade, wash out, be washed out, etiolate
    View synonyms


The term white has been used to refer to the skin colour of Europeans or people of European extraction since the early 17th century. Unlike other labels for skin colour such as red or yellow, white has not been generally used in a derogatory way. In modern contexts there is a growing tendency to prefer to use terms which relate to geographical origin rather than skin colour: hence the current preference in the US for African American rather than black and European rather than white


  • whited sepulchre

    • literary A hypocrite.

      • ‘With delicious invective, Nietzsche describes the legions of modern educators who are forever trying to teach a humanistic ethic as ‘whited sepulchers who impersonate life.’’
      • ‘They're a bunch of whited sepulchres, and I think if we could bring religious people to see that, I think the battle would be halfway won.’
      • ‘I wonder how He might fare today with His uncompromising stand on Hypocrites and whited sepulchres?’
      • ‘I think of one particular whited sepulchre, who insists that, ‘we must never give up on people’.’
      • ‘Instead of pointing the finger at yobs we should perhaps inspect our own whited sepulchres.’
      • ‘Our unusually tidy house is a sham, all deceiving beauty outside yet all corruption within, as a whited sepulchre, or market stall pear.’
      • ‘When asked how he would describe Vizard now, Hilliard replied: ‘He's a whited sepulchre, full of dead man's bones and rottenness.’’
      • ‘Keep up the good fight, and as to the whited sepulchres, keep giving it to them good and hard.’
      sanctimonious person, pietist, whited sepulchre, plaster saint, humbug, pretender, deceiver, dissembler, impostor
      View synonyms
  • white man's burden

    • The task, believed by white colonizers to be incumbent upon them, of imposing Western civilization on the black inhabitants of European colonies.

      • ‘The self-defeating nature of imperialism is slyly suggested through a dramatic reversal that exploits the notion of the white man's burden.’
      • ‘We will go out, we will pick up the white man's burden and we will colonise these areas that are not yet under our domination.’
      • ‘This is hardly surprising, since the white man's burden has long been recognized as an excuse for the most vile exploitation.’
      • ‘He obviously thinks it's time we donned our pith helmets and picked up the white man's burden again.’
      • ‘He bears the white man's burden with exceptional grace.’
      • ‘You know, apart from ‘the white man's burden,’ there were other patronising ideas floating around at the time.’
      • ‘It is a sort of modern style of the white man's burden in 2004.’
      • ‘Even the neocons, for all their viciousness and totalitarian gut instincts, sometimes show signs of taking their white man's burden seriously.’
      • ‘He blamed the white man who, in the name of civilization and ‘the white man's burden,’ impoverished many peoples in the world.’
      • ‘Earlier settlers are cruel and violent, unable to understand the white man's burden in Africa or the value of fairness and bureaucracy.’
  • whiter than white

    • 1Extremely white.

      ‘the detergent that washes whiter than white’
      • ‘The wall fronting Strand Street was gleaming whiter than white in the spring sunshine..’
      • ‘They are polishing the Santiago Bernabeu right now, scrubbing up the exterior to make it look whiter than white in this the centenary year.’
      • ‘The team prepared a new sample by coating a titanium plate with a layer of titanium dioxide, or titania, familiar as the whiter than white pigment in household paints.’
      • ‘He is kind of cute, and has a whiter than white toothpaste smile, a wicked sense of humour and an accent to die for.’
      • ‘I've just had soup for lunch and I was wearing a whiter than white t-shirt.’
      • ‘They have better upholstery, they're adequately airbrushed and their teeth are whiter than white.’
      • ‘It was a close up shot, framed in blue light in a dental surgery, but still unmistakably the actor's whiter than white teeth.’
      • ‘We want clean clothes, but within that simple desire lie images of crisp starching, of linen whiter than white.’
      • ‘The weather forecast is looking good for this weekend, I may even get some colour to my whiter than white legs.’
      • ‘He smiled, showing off two perfectly straight rows of clean whiter than white teeth.’
      1. 1.1Morally beyond reproach.
        ‘they expect standards of behaviour whiter than white’
        • ‘The lawyers and accountants needed to know absolutely everything was whiter than white.’
        • ‘The public expects us as members of a planning committee to be whiter than white, and rightly so.’
        • ‘He suggests that they may have believed, somewhat naively, that big business was whiter than white.’
        • ‘That organisation measures corruption on a scale of one to 18, with one being whiter than white, and 18 being the most corrupt of the corrupt.’
        • ‘He seems to believe they are whiter than white when it comes to sectarianism and criminality.’
        • ‘I always find it amusing that LibDems portray themselves as whiter than white yet will fight dirtier than anyone.’
        • ‘Individuals in positions of public authority should remember they have to be whiter than white if they are not to compromise their position.’
        • ‘A big part of his job, therefore, is to restore trust by demonstrating that local government is whiter than white.’
        • ‘The conclusions they came to do not surprise me because this chief constable must be seen to be whiter than white with no black marks,’ he said.’
        • ‘If our glorious leaders want to be so righteous and take the stance they have then in my mind they should be above reproach themselves, whiter than white.’
        virtuous, moral, ethical, good, righteous, angelic, saintly, pious, honourable, reputable, wholesome, clean, honest, upright, upstanding, exemplary, above reproach, beyond reproach, irreproachable, innocent
        View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • white out

    • 1(of vision) become impaired by exposure to sudden bright light.

      • ‘My head had started to spin again, and my vision almost whited out.’
      • ‘He tried to raise his head, and his sight whited out entirely.’
      1. 1.1(of a person) lose colour vision as a prelude to losing consciousness.
        • ‘I bolted for the door and whited out as I hit the street.’
  • white something out

    • 1Obliterate a mistake with white correction fluid.

      • ‘I was in the production department, which involved random paste-ups, little editorial corrections and whiting out lines when they went over the panel border.’
      • ‘Because of the privacy thing, when looking at students' papers, we white out all the names that are in the paper.’
      • ‘A teacher at the school took a copy of the New York ballot paper, photocopied it and whited out all the nominees names, putting school subjects in their place.’
      • ‘The governor's office had whited out the answers.’
      • ‘You can't just hit delete, you have to rip the pages or white out the text.’
      • ‘They should release the documents containing the allegations against him, with the sensitive bits whited out.’
    • 2Impair someone's vision with a sudden bright light.


Late Old English hwīt, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wit and German weiss, also to wheat.