white


white
white O.E. hwit, from P.Gmc. *khwitaz (Cf. O.S., O.Fris. hwit, O.N. hvitr, Du. wit, O.H.G. hwiz, Ger. weiß, Goth. hveits), from PIE *kwintos/*kwindos "bright" (Cf. Skt. svetah "white;" O.C.S. sviteti "to shine," svetu "light;" Lith. sviesti "to shine," svaityti "to brighten"). As a surname, originally with reference to fair hair or complexion, it is one of the oldest in English, being well-established before the Conquest. Meaning "morally pure" was in O.E. Association with royalist causes is late 18c. Slang sense of "honorable, fair" is 1877, Amer.Eng. The racial sense (adj.) of "of those races (chiefly European or of European extraction) characterized by light complexion" is first recorded c.1600. The noun in this sense ("white man, person of a race distinguished by light complexion") is from 1670s; whitey in this sense is recorded from 1828. White supremacy attested from 1902; white flight is from 1967. White heat "state of intense or extreme emotion" first recorded 1839. White lie is attested from 1741. White Christmas is attested from 1857. White House at the U.S. presidential residence is recorded from 1811. White water "river rapids" is recorded from 1580s. White Russian "language of Byelorussia" is recorded from 1850; the mixed drink is from c.1978. White collar as an adj. is from 1921; white-collar crime attested by 1964 (there is a white-collar criminaloids from 1934). Astronomical white dwarf is from 1924.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • White — (hw[imac]t), a. [Compar. {Whiter} (hw[imac]t [ e]r); superl. {Whitest}.] [OE. whit, AS. hw[imac]t; akin to OFries. and OS. hw[=i]t, D. wit, G. weiss, OHG. w[=i]z, hw[=i]z, Icel. hv[=i]tr, Sw. hvit, Dan. hvid, Goth. hweits, Lith. szveisti, to make …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • white — [hwīt, wīt] adj. whiter, whitest [ME hwit < OE, akin to Ger weiss, ON hvitr, MDu wit < IE * kweid , to gleam, bright, white > WHEAT, OSlav švěšta, a light, candle] 1. having the color of pure snow or milk; of the color of radiated,… …   English World dictionary

  • White — White, n. [1913 Webster] 1. The color of pure snow; one of the natural colors of bodies, yet not strictly a color, but a composition of all colors; the opposite of black; whiteness. See the Note under {Color}, n., 1. [1913 Webster] Finely attired …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • White- — (бело ), a prefix used by Bolsheviks to designate their real and alleged enemies of all sorts, by analogy with the White Army.*White Guardist ( белогвардеец ): a member of the White Guard . The members of the White movement never applied the term …   Wikipedia

  • White — White, José Blanco White, Patrick * * * (as used in expressions) Bourke White, Margaret Mary White White Horse, valle de White Mountains White Sands National Monument White, E(lwyn) B(rooks) White, James (Springer) y Ellen (Gould) White, John …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • WHITE (D.) — Dick WHITE 1906 1993 Figure légendaire des services de contre espionnage britanniques certains affirment que le romancier Ian Fleming s’en serait inspiré pour créer le personnage de James Bond , sir Dick White naît en Angleterre, dans le Kent, le …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • White — bezeichnet: einen Familiennamen, siehe White (Familienname) White Airways, eine portugiesische Charterfluggesellschaft White Hand Gang, irische Bande in Brooklyn von etwa 1900–1925 White Motor Company, US Hersteller von LKW, Automobilen,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • WHITE (P.) — WHITE PATRICK (1912 1990) Prix Nobel de littérature en 1973, Patrick White est sans doute l’écrivain australien le plus connu. Issu d’une famille «patricienne» (son père était grand propriétaire terrien), il appartient à cette classe sociale qui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • white — ► ADJECTIVE 1) of the colour of milk or fresh snow, due to the reflection of all visible rays of light. 2) very pale. 3) relating to a human group having light coloured skin, especially of European ancestry. 4) morally or spiritually pure. 5)… …   English terms dictionary

  • WHITE (L. A.) — WHITE LESLIE ALVIN (1900 1975) Le plus remarquable représentant de l’école néo évolutionniste américaine. L’anthropologue Leslie A. White suivit d’abord un itinéraire intellectuel complexe qui lui donna une formation largement encyclopédique;… …   Encyclopédie Universelle


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