Meaning of “white” in the English Dictionary

"white" in British English

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uk /waɪt/ us /waɪt/

white adjective (COLOUR)

A1 of a colour like that of snow, milk, or bone:

a white T-shirt
white walls
a black and white dog
He's white-haired now.
UK "How do you like your coffee?" "White (= with milk or cream) and no sugar, please."

C2 having a pale face because you are not well, or you are feeling shocked:

She was white, and her lips were pale.

A2 used in the names of various food and drink products, many of which are not pure white but slightly cream, yellow, grey, or transparent:

white bread
white chocolate
white flour
white sugar
white wine

More examples

  • The bride's hair was adorned with pearls and white flowers.
  • Factory chimneys belched dense white smoke into the sky.
  • I like the contrast of the white trousers with the black jacket.
  • The book's cover has white lettering on a blue background.
  • It was a seaside town filled with small white bungalows.

white adjective (PEOPLE)

B1 belonging to the group of people with skin that is pale in colour, who come from or whose family originally came from Europe:

He had a black mother and a white father.

More examples

  • The first white settlers journeyed across America in covered wagons.
  • They claimed that white workers are being paid more than there black counterparts.
  • The South African team now includes both black and white players.
  • Her mother had prohibited her from marrying a white man.
  • White people are at greater risk of getting skin cancer.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈwaɪt.nəs/ us /ˈwaɪt.nəs/

the quality of being white


uk /waɪt/ us /waɪt/

white noun (COLOUR)

A2 [ U ] a colour like that of snow, milk, or bone:

In some countries it is traditional for a bride to wear white.
whites [ plural ]

white clothes, either worn for a particular activity or job, or put together to be washed at the same time:

a girl in tennis whites
chef/chef's whites
The medical team was all in hospital whites.
A red sock got put in the wash with the whites!
white of the eye

the part of the eye that is white:

Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes (= until the people are very close to you).
egg white/white of an egg

the transparent part of an egg that surrounds the yolk and becomes white when cooked:

Beat four egg whites into stiff peaks.

More examples

  • We decorated our house completely in white.
  • She always dresses in white.
  • The vase stands out against the white of the wall.

(Definition of “white” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"white" in American English

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whiteadjective, noun [ C/U ]

us /hwɑɪt, wɑɪt/

white adjective, noun [ C/U ] (COLOR)

(of) a color like that of snow, milk, or bone:

white hair
a white shirt
[ C ] We used a bright white on the ceilings.

The white of an egg is the part of an egg that becomes white when cooked.

whiteadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /hwɑɪt, wɑɪt/

white adjective [ -er/-est only ] (PALE SKIN)

belonging to a race whose skin is pale in color; Caucasian:

There were many white faces in the crowd.

(Definition of “white” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)