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Webster 1913 Edition


Whitewash

White′washˊ

,
Noun.
1.
Any wash or liquid composition for whitening something, as a wash for making the skin fair.
Addison.
2.
A composition of line and water, or of whiting size, and water, or the like, used for whitening walls, ceilings, etc.; milk of lime.

White′washˊ

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Whitewashed
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Whitewashing
.]
1.
To apply a white liquid composition to; to whiten with whitewash.
2.
To make white; to give a fair external appearance to; to clear from imputations or disgrace; hence, to clear (a bankrupt) from obligation to pay debts.

Webster 1828 Edition


Whitewash

WHITEWASH

,
Noun.
[white and wash.]
1.
A wash or liquid composition for whitening something; a wash for making the skin fair.
2.
A composition of lime and water, used for whitening the plaster of walls, &c.

WHITEWASH

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To cover with a white liquid composition, as with lime and water, &c.
2.
To make white; to give a fair external appearance.

Definition 2022


whitewash

whitewash

English

Noun

whitewash (countable and uncountable, plural whitewashes)

  1. A lime and water mixture for painting walls and fences bright white.
    • 1952, L. F. Salzman, Building in England, page 157:
      For walls plaster gave a smooth white surface; or if it was not sufficiently white, or had become discoloured, it could be brightened up with a coat of whitewash or paint.
  2. (sports) A complete victory or series of victories without suffering any losses; a clean sweep.
    • 2010, Andrew Miller, Cricinfo:
      For the first time in a long time, Australia are being threatened with the prospect of a 5-0 whitewash
  3. (obsolete) Any liquid composition for whitening something, such as a wash for making the skin fair.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Addison to this entry?)

Translations

Verb

whitewash (third-person singular simple present whitewashes, present participle whitewashing, simple past and past participle whitewashed)

  1. To paint over with a lime and water mixture so as to brighten up a wall or fence.
    The houses looked very bright when they whitewashed the whole neighborhood.
  2. (idiomatic) To cover over errors or bad actions.
    In his sermon, the minister didn't try to whitewash over the sins of his church.
  3. (dated, transitive) To repay the financial debts of (another person).
    • 1836, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers 43
      Meanwhile, Sam, having been formally introduced to the whitewashed gentleman and his friends, as the offspring of Mr. Weller, of the Belle Savage, was treated with marked distinction, and invited to regale himself with them in honour of the occasion—an invitation which he was by no means backward in accepting.
  4. (baseball, slang, dated, late, 19th century, archaic) To prevent a team from scoring any runs.
  5. (US, Britain, slang) In various games, to defeat (an opponent) so that they fail to score, or to reach a certain point in the game; to skunk.
  6. (pejorative) To make over (a person or character, a group, an event, etc) so that it is or seems more white, for example by applying makeup to a person, or by covering over the participation of people of colour in an event and focusing on only white participation.
    Hollywood, Don't You Dare Whitewash Stonewall

Translations

Related terms

See also