whitewash (countable and uncountable, plural whitewashes)
- 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.
- (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
- (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?)
whitewash (third-person singular simple present whitewashes, present participle whitewashing, simple past and past participle whitewashed)
- 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.
- (idiomatic) To cover over errors or bad actions.
- In his sermon, the minister didn't try to whitewash over the sins of his church.
- (dated, transitive) To repay the financial debts of (another person).
, 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.
- (baseball, slang, dated, late, 19th century, archaic) To prevent a team from scoring any runs.
- (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.
- (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