The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
White \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[imac]t, D. wit, G.
weiss, OHG. w[imac]z, hw[imac]z, Icel. hv[imac]tr, Sw. hvit,
Dan. hvid, Goth. hweits, Lith. szveisti, to make bright,
Russ. sviet' light, Skr. [,c]v[=e]ta white, [,c]vit to be
bright. [root]42. Cf. Wheat, Whitsunday.]
1. Reflecting to the eye all the rays of the spectrum
combined; not tinted with any of the proper colors or
their mixtures; having the color of pure snow; snowy; --
the opposite of black or dark; as, white paper; a
white skin. "Pearls white." --Chaucer.
White as the whitest lily on a stream. --Longfellow.
2. Destitute of color, as in the cheeks, or of the tinge of
blood color; pale; pallid; as, white with fear.
Or whispering with white lips, "The foe!
They come! they come!" --Byron.
3. Having the color of purity; free from spot or blemish, or
from guilt or pollution; innocent; pure.
White as thy fame, and as thy honor clear. --Dryden.
No whiter page than Addison's remains. --Pope.
4. Gray, as from age; having silvery hair; hoary.
Your high engendered battles 'gainst a head
So old and white as this. --Shak.
5. Characterized by freedom from that which disturbs, and the
like; fortunate; happy; favorable.
On the whole, however, the dominie reckoned this as
one of the white days of his life. --Sir W.
6. Regarded with especial favor; favorite; darling.
Come forth, my white spouse. --Chaucer.
I am his white boy, and will not be gullet. --Ford.
Note: White is used in many self-explaining compounds, as
white-backed, white-bearded, white-footed.
White alder. (Bot.) See Sweet pepper bush, under
White ant (Zool.), any one of numerous species of social
pseudoneuropterous insects of the genus Termes. These
insects are very abundant in tropical countries, and form
large and complex communities consisting of numerous
asexual workers of one or more kinds, of large-headed
asexual individuals called soldiers, of one or more queens
(or fertile females) often having the body enormously
distended by the eggs, and, at certain seasons of numerous
winged males, together with the larvae and pupae of each
kind in various stages of development. Many of the species
construct large and complicated nests, sometimes in the
form of domelike structures rising several feet above the
ground and connected with extensive subterranean galleries
and chambers. In their social habits they closely resemble
the true ants. They feed upon animal and vegetable
substances of various kinds, including timber, and are
often very destructive to buildings and furniture.
White arsenic (Chem.), arsenious oxide, As2O3, a
substance of a white color, and vitreous adamantine
luster, having an astringent, sweetish taste. It is a
White bass (Zool.), a fresh-water North American bass
(Roccus chrysops) found in the Great Likes.
White bear (Zool.), the polar bear. See under Polar.
White blood cell. (Physiol.) See Leucocyte.
White brand (Zool.), the snow goose.
White brass, a white alloy of copper; white copper.
White campion. (Bot.)
(a) A kind of catchfly (Silene stellata) with white
(b) A white-flowered Lychnis (Lychnis vespertina).
White canon (R. C. Ch.), a Premonstratensian.
White caps, the members of a secret organization in various
of the United States, who attempt to drive away or reform
obnoxious persons by lynch-law methods. They appear masked
in white. Their actions resembled those of the Ku Klux
Klan in some ways but they were not formally affiliated
with the Klan, and their victims were often not black.
White cedar (Bot.), an evergreen tree of North America
(Thuja occidentalis), also the related Cupressus
thyoides, or Chamaecyparis sphaeroidea, a slender
evergreen conifer which grows in the so-called cedar
swamps of the Northern and Atlantic States. Both are much
valued for their durable timber. In California the name is
given to the Libocedrus decurrens, the timber of which
is also useful, though often subject to dry rot.
--Goodale. The white cedar of Demerara, Guiana, etc., is a
lofty tree (Icica altissima syn. Bursera altissima)
whose fragrant wood is used for canoes and cabinetwork, as
it is not attacked by insect.
White cell. (Physiol.) See Leucocyte.
White cell-blood (Med.), leucocythaemia.
White clover (Bot.), a species of small perennial clover
bearing white flowers. It furnishes excellent food for
cattle and horses, as well as for the honeybee. See also
White copper, a whitish alloy of copper. See German
silver, under German.
White copperas (Min.), a native hydrous sulphate of iron;
White coral (Zool.), an ornamental branched coral
(Amphihelia oculata) native of the Mediterranean.
White corpuscle. (Physiol.) See Leucocyte.
White cricket (Zool.), the tree cricket.
White crop, a crop of grain which loses its green color, or
becomes white, in ripening, as wheat, rye, barley, and
oats, as distinguished from a green crop, or a root crop.
White currant (Bot.), a variety of the common red currant,
having white berries.
White daisy (Bot.), the oxeye daisy. See under Daisy.
White damp, a kind of poisonous gas encountered in coal
White elephant (Zool.),
(a) a whitish, or albino, variety of the Asiatic elephant.
(b) see white elephant in the vocabulary.
White elm (Bot.), a majestic tree of North America (Ulmus
Americana), the timber of which is much used for hubs of
wheels, and for other purposes.
White ensign. See Saint George's ensign, under Saint.
White feather, a mark or symbol of cowardice. See To show
the white feather, under Feather, n.
White fir (Bot.), a name given to several coniferous trees
of the Pacific States, as Abies grandis, and Abies
White flesher (Zool.), the ruffed grouse. See under
White frost. See Hoarfrost.
White game (Zool.), the white ptarmigan.
White garnet (Min.), leucite.
White grass (Bot.), an American grass (Leersia Virginica)
with greenish-white paleae.
White grouse. (Zool.)
(a) The white ptarmigan.
(b) The prairie chicken. [Local, U. S.]
White grub (Zool.), the larva of the June bug and other
allied species. These grubs eat the roots of grasses and
other plants, and often do much damage.
White hake (Zool.), the squirrel hake. See under
White hawk, or White kite (Zool.), the hen harrier.
White heat, the temperature at which bodies become
incandescent, and appear white from the bright light which
White hellebore (Bot.), a plant of the genus Veratrum
(Veratrum album) See Hellebore, 2.
White herring, a fresh, or unsmoked, herring, as
distinguished from a red, or cured, herring. [R.] --Shak.
White hoolet (Zool.), the barn owl. [Prov. Eng.]
White horses (Naut.), white-topped waves; whitecaps.
The White House. See under House.
White ibis (Zool.), an American ibis (Guara alba) having
the plumage pure white, except the tips of the wings,
which are black. It inhabits tropical America and the
Southern United States. Called also Spanish curlew.
(a) Thin sheets of iron coated with tin; tinned iron.
(b) A hard, silvery-white cast iron containing a large
proportion of combined carbon.
White iron pyrites (Min.), marcasite.
White land, a tough clayey soil, of a whitish hue when dry,
but blackish after rain. [Eng.]
White lark (Zool.), the snow bunting.
(a) A carbonate of lead much used in painting, and for
other purposes; ceruse.
(b) (Min.) Native lead carbonate; cerusite.
White leather, buff leather; leather tanned with alum and
White leg (Med.), milk leg. See under Milk.
White lettuce (Bot.), rattlesnake root. See under
White lie. See under Lie.
(a) (Physics) Light having the different colors in the
same proportion as in the light coming directly from
the sun, without having been decomposed, as by passing
through a prism. See the Note under Color, n., 1.
(b) A kind of firework which gives a brilliant white
illumination for signals, etc.
White lime, a solution or preparation of lime for
White line (Print.), a void space of the breadth of a line,
on a printed page; a blank line.
(a) Any light-colored flesh, especially of poultry.
(b) Food made from milk or eggs, as butter, cheese, etc.
Driving their cattle continually with them, and
feeding only upon their milk and white meats.
White merganser (Zool.), the smew.
(a) Any one of several white alloys, as pewter, britannia,
(b) (Metal.) A fine grade of copper sulphide obtained at a
certain stage in copper smelting.
White miller. (Zool.)
(a) The common clothes moth.
(b) A common American bombycid moth (Spilosoma
Virginica) which is pure white with a few small black
spots; -- called also ermine moth, and virgin
moth. See Woolly bear, under Woolly.
White money, silver money.
White mouse (Zool.), the albino variety of the common
White mullet (Zool.), a silvery mullet (Mugil curema)
ranging from the coast of the United States to Brazil; --
called also blue-back mullet, and liza.
White nun (Zool.), the smew; -- so called from the white
crest and the band of black feathers on the back of its
head, which give the appearance of a hood.
White oak. (Bot.) See under Oak.
White owl. (Zool.)
(a) The snowy owl.
(b) The barn owl.
White partridge (Zool.), the white ptarmigan.
White perch. (Zool.)
(a) A North American fresh-water bass (Morone Americana)
valued as a food fish.
(b) The croaker, or fresh-water drum.
(c) Any California surf fish.
White pine. (Bot.) See the Note under Pine.
White poplar (Bot.), a European tree (Populus alba) often
cultivated as a shade tree in America; abele.
White poppy (Bot.), the opium-yielding poppy. See Poppy.
White powder, a kind of gunpowder formerly believed to
exist, and to have the power of exploding without noise.
A pistol charged with white powder. --Beau. & Fl.
White precipitate. (Old Chem.) See under Precipitate.
White rabbit. (Zool.)
(a) The American northern hare in its winter pelage.
(b) An albino rabbit.
(a) (Eng. Law) Formerly, rent payable in silver; --
opposed to black rent. See Blackmail, n., 3.
(b) A rent, or duty, of eight pence, payable yearly by
every tinner in Devon and Cornwall to the Duke of
Cornwall, as lord of the soil. [Prov. Eng.]
White rhinoceros. (Zool.)
(a) The one-horned, or Indian, rhinoceros (Rhinoceros
Indicus). See Rhinoceros.
(b) The umhofo.
White ribbon, the distinctive badge of certain
organizations for the promotion of temperance or of moral
purity; as, the White-ribbon Army.
White rope (Naut.), untarred hemp rope.
White rot. (Bot.)
(a) Either of several plants, as marsh pennywort and
butterwort, which were thought to produce the disease
called rot in sheep.
(b) A disease of grapes. See White rot, under Rot.
White sage (Bot.), a white, woolly undershrub (Eurotia
lanata) of Western North America; -- called also winter
White salmon (Zool.), the silver salmon.
White salt, salt dried and calcined; decrepitated salt.
White scale (Zool.), a scale insect (Aspidiotus Nerii)
injurious to the orange tree. See Orange scale, under
White shark (Zool.), a species of man-eating shark. See
White softening. (Med.) See Softening of the brain, under
White spruce. (Bot.) See Spruce, n., 1.
White squall (Naut.), a sudden gust of wind, or furious
blow, which comes up without being marked in its approach
otherwise than by whitecaps, or white, broken water, on
the surface of the sea.
White staff, the badge of the lord high treasurer of
White stork (Zool.), the common European stork.
White sturgeon. (Zool.) See Shovelnose
White sucker. (Zool.)
(a) The common sucker.
(b) The common red horse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum).
White swelling (Med.), a chronic swelling of the knee,
produced by a strumous inflammation of the synovial
membranes of the kneejoint and of the cancellar texture of
the end of the bone forming the kneejoint; -- applied also
to a lingering chronic swelling of almost any kind.
White tombac. See Tombac.
White trout (Zool.), the white weakfish, or silver
squeteague (Cynoscion nothus), of the Southern United
White vitriol (Chem.), hydrous sulphate of zinc. See White
vitriol, under Vitriol.
White wagtail (Zool.), the common, or pied, wagtail.
White wax, beeswax rendered white by bleaching.
White whale (Zool.), the beluga.
White widgeon (Zool.), the smew.
White wine. any wine of a clear, transparent color,
bordering on white, as Madeira, sherry, Lisbon, etc.; --
distinguished from wines of a deep red color, as port and
Burgundy. "White wine of Lepe." --Chaucer.
White witch, a witch or wizard whose supernatural powers
are supposed to be exercised for good and beneficent
purposes. --Addison. --Cotton Mather.
White wolf. (Zool.)
(a) A light-colored wolf (Canis laniger) native of
Thibet; -- called also chanco, golden wolf, and
(b) The albino variety of the gray wolf.
White wren (Zool.), the willow warbler; -- so called from
the color of the under parts.