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lily-white

[adjective lil-ee-hwahyt, -wahyt; noun lil-ee-hwahyt, -wahyt]
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adjective
  1. white as a lily: soft lily-white skin.
  2. pure; untouched by corruption or imperfection; above reproach: He tries to pass himself off as some sort of lily-white saint, but he's not.
  3. designating or pertaining to any faction, organization, or group opposing the inclusion of blacks, especially in political or social life.
noun
  1. a member of a lily-white organization, especially a member of a former faction of the Republican Party in the South opposed to the inclusion of blacks in the party or in political life in general.

Origin of lily-white

1275–1325; Middle English lylie-whyt

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3. segregated, discriminatory, unintegrated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lily-white

lily-white

adjective
  1. of a pure whitelily-white skin
  2. informal pure; irreproachable
  3. US informal
    1. discriminating against Black peoplea lily-white club
    2. racially segregated
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lily-white

adj.

early 14c., from lily + white; from 1903 with reference to whites-only segregation; 1964 as "irreproachable."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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