Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “whitewash”

whitewash

noun uk   /ˈwaɪt.wɒʃ/ us    /-wɑːʃ/

whitewash noun (PAINT)

[U] a white liquid that is a mixture of lime or powdered chalk and water, used for making walls or ceilings whitePaints, dyes and pigmentsColour - general words

whitewash noun (ATTEMPT TO HIDE)

[S] disapproving an attempt to stop people finding out the true facts about a situation: The official report on the killings has been denounced as a whitewash.Secrecy and privacy

whitewash noun (DEFEAT)

[C] UK informal a complete defeat in a game or competition: a 6–0 whitewashScoring, winning and losing in sportWinning and defeatingLosing and being defeated

whitewash

verb [T] uk   /ˈwaɪt.wɒʃ/ us    /-wɑːʃ/

whitewash verb [T] (HIDE)

disapproving to make something bad seem acceptable by hiding the truth: The government is trying to whitewash the incompetence of the Treasury officials.Secrecy and privacy

whitewash verb [T] (DEFEAT)

UK informal to defeat a player or team completely, especially while preventing them from scoring any pointsScoring, winning and losing in sportWinning and defeatingLosing and being defeated

whitewash verb [T] (PAINT)

to paint walls or buildings using whitewashCovering and adding layersInterior decoration
(Definition of whitewash from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of whitewash?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Covering and adding layers, but you might be interested in these topics from the Including and excluding topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “whitewash” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

workmanship

the skill with which something was made or done

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More