white elephant


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white elephant

n.
1. A rare whitish or light-gray form of the Asian elephant, often considered sacred in parts of South and Southeast Asia.
2. A possession that provides few benefits and is an inconvenience or a financial burden to maintain.

[Sense 2, in reference to a story that when the kings of Siam wished to ruin an offending courtier, they would give him a white elephant, which the courtier then had to maintain at great expense.]

white elephant

n
1. (Animals) a rare albino or pale grey variety of the Indian elephant, regarded as sacred in parts of S Asia
2. a possession that is unwanted by its owner
3. an elaborate venture, construction, etc, that proves useless
4. a rare or valuable possession the upkeep of which is very expensive

white′ el′ephant


n.
1. a possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose of.
2. a possession entailing great expense out of proportion to its value to the owner.
3. an albino Indian elephant.
[1850–55; from the tale that the King of Siam would award a disagreeable courtier a white elephant, the upkeep of which would ruin the courtier]

white elephant

- The name of this animal, which has an enormous appetite, has come to mean "useless, expensive possession"—or a possession that is more trouble than it is worth.
See also related terms for possession.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.white elephant - a valuable possession whose upkeep is excessively expensive
possession - anything owned or possessed
2.white elephant - albinic Indian elephant; rare and sometimes venerated in east Asia
Elephas maximus, Indian elephant - Asian elephant having smaller ears and tusks primarily in the male
Translations
غَرَض غَيْر مُفيد وكَثير التَّكاليف
hvid elefant
éléphant blanc
gagnslítil eign
bir işe yaramayan eşya

white elephant

n (fam) → cattedrale f nel deserto

white

(wait) adjective
1. of the colour of the paper on which these words are printed. The bride wore a white dress.
2. having light-coloured skin, through being of European etc descent. the first white man to explore Africa.
3. abnormally pale, because of fear, illness etc. He went white with shock.
4. with milk in it. A white coffee, please.
noun
1. the colour of the paper on which these words are printed. White and black are opposites.
2. a white-skinned person. racial trouble between blacks and whites.
3. (also ˈegg-white) the clear fluid in an egg, surrounding the yolk. This recipe tells you to separate the yolks from the whites.
4. (of an eye) the white part surrounding the pupil and iris. The whites of her eyes are bloodshot.
ˈwhiten verb
to make or become white or whiter. She used a little bleach to whiten the sheets.
ˈwhiteness noun
ˈwhitening noun
a substance used to make certain things (eg tennis shoes) white again.
ˈwhitish adjective
fairly white; close to white.
ˌwhite-ˈcollar adjective
(of workers, jobs etc) not manual; (working) in an office etc.
white elephant
a useless, unwanted possession.
white horse noun
(usually in plural) a wave that has a crest of white foam.
ˌwhite-ˈhot adjective
(of metals) so hot that they have turned white. a white-hot poker.
white lie
a not very serious lie. I'd rather tell my mother a white lie than tell her the truth and upset her.
ˈwhitewash noun
a mixture of usually lime and water, used for whitening walls.
verb
to cover with whitewash.
ˈwhitewashed adjective
white winewine
References in classic literature ?
All down the line I had kept an eye for suspicious characters with an eye upon me; but even my self-consciousness failed to discover one; and I reached my haven of peace, and of fresh fell air, feeling, I suppose, much like any other fool who has spent his money upon a white elephant.
He ran his finger over them, and when he came to Siam he contemplated with great attention the red field and the white elephant.
And I will not say what my first act was when I found myself alone with my white elephant in the middle of the room; enough that the siphon was still doing its work when the glass slipped through my fingers to the floor.
Where is it you are off to, and why are you taking this herd of white elephants with you?
Then, follow white elephants caparisoned in countless gorgeous colours, and infinite in number and attendants.
It will be useless and will be another example of a white elephant as the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) was,' the prelate said.
WHITE ELEPHANT, NANTUCKET, MASSACHUSETTS From $280/night; whiteelepbanthotel.
THE narrative leading to the Library of Birmingham being regarded as a White Elephant began with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition's blind disregard for its women employee's equal rights and pay claim (Letters, November 9).
ANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar's forestry department has captured a rare white elephant in the jungles of the country's western Ayeyarwaddy region, an official said Sunday.
I seem to remember Ashington had a white elephant once before will this be the second one?
SIR - I note that at last the Welsh Government has admitted that it is going to pour more money into the Circuit of Wales white elephant, on top of the PS2m already spent.
THE nuclear industry has been described as an expensive white elephant.