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 (wīt, hwīt)
1. The achromatic color of maximum lightness; the color of objects that reflect nearly all light of all visible wavelengths; the complement or antagonist of black, the other extreme of the neutral gray series. Although typically a response to maximum stimulation of the retina, the perception of white appears always to depend on contrast.
2. The white or nearly white part, as:
a. The albumen of an egg.
b. The white part of an eyeball.
c. A blank or unprinted area, as of an advertisement.
3. One that is white or nearly white, as:
a. whites Pieces of laundry having a white or nearly white color.
b. whites White pants or a white outfit of a special nature: tennis whites.
c. whites The white dress uniform of the US Navy or Coast Guard.
d. A white wine.
e. A white pigment.
f. A white breed, species, or variety of animal.
g. Any of various butterflies of the subfamily Pierinae, characteristically having chiefly white wings often with black markings.
h. also White A member of a racial group having light-colored skin, especially when of European origin and in some classifications also when of Middle Eastern or North African origin.
i. often whites Products of a white color, such as flour, salt, and sugar.
4. Games
a. The white or light-colored pieces, as in chess.
b. The player using these pieces.
a. The outermost ring of an archery target.
b. A hit in this ring.
6. whites Medicine Leukorrhea.
7. White A member of a conservative or counterrevolutionary faction, especially one opposing the Bolsheviks in the Russian civil war.
adj. whit·er, whit·est
1. Being of the color white; devoid of hue, as new snow.
2. Approaching the color white, as:
a. Weakly colored; almost colorless; pale: white wine.
b. Pale gray; silvery and lustrous: white hair.
c. Bloodless; blanched.
3. Light or whitish in color or having light or whitish parts. Used with animal and plant names.
4. also White Of or belonging to a racial group of people having light-colored skin, especially when of European origin, and in some classifications also when of Middle Eastern or North African origin: voting patterns within the white population.
5. Habited in white: white nuns.
6. Accompanied by or mantled with snow: a white Christmas.
a. Incandescent: white flames.
b. Intensely heated; impassioned: white with fury.
8. White Of or relating to a conservative or counterrevolutionary faction, especially one opposing the Bolsheviks in the Russian civil war.
9. With milk added. Used of tea or coffee.
10. Archaic Unsullied; pure.
tr.v. whit·ed, whit·ing, whites
Printing To cover or make illegible with white coloring. Often used with out.

[Middle English, from Old English hwīt; see kweit- in Indo-European roots.]

white′ness n.


pl n
1. (Textiles) household linen or cotton goods, such as sheets
2. (Clothing & Fashion) white or off-white clothing, such as that worn for playing cricket
3. (Pathology) an informal name for leucorrhoea
References in classic literature ?
What the white whale was to Ahab, has been hinted; what, at times, he was to me, as yet remains unsaid.
Witness the white bear of the poles, and the white shark of the tropics; what but their smooth, flaky whiteness makes them the transcendent horrors they are?
Know, O White Man, that it is because of thy kind, because of all white men, that my man and I have no meat in our old age and sit without tobacco in the cold.
Wrong has been done us, it be true; but the white men did not mean the wrong.
In front of the cottage was a garden wherein stood two rose-trees, one of which bore white and the other red roses.
The two children were so fond of one another that they always held each other by the hand when they went out together, and when Snow- white said: 'We will not leave each other,' Rose-red answered: 'Never so long as we live,' and their mother would add: 'What one has she must share with the other.
Some years since--it was during the winter before the Zulu War--a White Man was travelling through Natal.
Now if I were not in Natal, I should say that there was a heavy fall of snow coming," said the White Man to himself.
As the white man drew closer he could hear a low and continuous moaning and groaning.
His fangs be white, and White Fang shall be his name.
Port Adams is a salt-water village on Malaita, and Malaita is the most savage island in the Solomons--so savage that no traders or planters have yet gained a foothold on it; while, from the time of the earliest bˆche-de-mer fishers and sandalwood traders down to the latest labor recruiters equipped with automatic rifles and gasolene engines, scores of white adventurers have been passed out by tomahawks and soft-nosed Snider bullets.
Sheeta crouched in the bow at the ape-man's feet, for it had seemed best to Tarzan always to keep the wicked beast as far from the other members of the party as possible, since it would require little or no provocation to send him at the throat of any than the white man, whom he evidently now looked upon as his master.