white man's burden

Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

white man's burden

The supposed or presumed responsibility of white people to govern and impart their culture to nonwhite people, often advanced as a justification for European colonialism.

[From "The White Man's Burden,", a poem by Rudyard Kipling.]

White man's burden

(Anthropology & Ethnology) the supposed duty of the White race to bring education and Western culture to the non-White inhabitants of their colonies

white′ man's` bur′den

the alleged duty of the white race to care for subject peoples of other races in its colonial possessions.
[after a poem of the same title by Rudyard Kipling (1899)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.white man's burden - the supposed responsibility of the white race to provide care for their non-white subjects
duty, obligation, responsibility - the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force; "we must instill a sense of duty in our children"; "every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty"- John D.Rockefeller Jr
References in periodicals archive ?
international organizations' tendency to double down on their failures in his 2008 book The White Man's Burden.
Some writers wrote satires that were taken seriously, others wrote serious pieces that weren't taken seriously and then there were the white man's burden, brown man's burden and burdens that came in other colors, being discussed in articles that tried to complicate a debate that has been pretty simple all along.
If there is one thing I learned about Iran's presidential election, it is the existence of the White Man's Burden amongst some in the Iranian Diaspora community: Iranian-Americans thousands of miles away from Iran, dictating their Western education and values to "backwards," "deprived" and "mullah-loving" people in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Rudyard Kipling, one of our greatest heroes, wrote The White Man's Burden, in which he wrote it was incumbent on the Americans to go and civilise the savages in the Philippines.
Rider Haggard's She, Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden," Bram Stoker's Dracula, and H.
It was in the late 1890s, when King Leopold II was colonizing the Congo and the United States was annexing the Philippines, that Kipling published "The White Man's Burden," a poem exhorting U.
Kipling who famously justified the Western colonization and European imperialism in the now infamous poem, The White Man's Burden, was nothing if not a pragmatist.
Kipling who famously justified the Western colonisation and European imperialism in the now infamous poem, The White Man's Burden, was nothing if not a pragmatist.
Sachs, in his compelling and ambitious "manifesto" The End of Poverty (2005), and Easterly, in his equally compelling though less ambitious The White Man's Burden (2006), offer intriguing and competing answers to that question.
In his book The White Man's Burden, the economist William Easterly created two broad categories for those who intervene in the problems afflicting developing countries.
Chapter 2 elegantly displays the various ideologies of superiority that imperialists professed in their time, ranging from the Anglo-American white man's burden to the Japanese greater East Asia co-prosperity sphere project, and the French mission civilisatrice.
This was around the time that Rudyard Kipling was advising Europeans to "take up the white man's burden.