bleed white, Informal. to be or cause to be deprived of all one's resources: Dishonesty is bleeding the union white.
    in the white, in an unfinished state or condition, as furniture wood that has not been stained or varnished.

Origin of white

before 900; Middle English whit(e), Old English hwīt; cognate with German weiss, Old Norse hvītr, Gothic hweits; akin to wheat
Related formshalf-white, adjectiveun·white, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for half-white

Contemporary Examples of half-white

Historical Examples of half-white

  • That is where so much of that yellow and half-white comes from.

    Slave Narratives: Arkansas Narratives

    Work Projects Administration

  • In regions where priestly influence is strong she is said to be half-black, half-white, and to appear sometimes as a serpent.

    Demonology and Devil-lore

    Moncure Daniel Conway

  • Bound in half-white vellum, illuminated sides, unique designs in gold and colors, with numerous half-tone illustrations.

    Adventures in Toyland

    Edith King Hall

  • "I hear there is a half-white woman who wields a great influence over them," Peter Gross remarked.

    The Argus Pheasant

    John Charles Beecham

  • I asked after "Billy" Ragsdale, interpreter to the Parliament in my time—a half-white.

    Following the Equator, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

British Dictionary definitions for half-white




a person, esp one of European ancestry, from a human population having light pigmentation of the skin


denoting or relating to a White person or White people




Gilbert. 1720–93, English clergyman and naturalist, noted for his Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789)
Jimmy. born 1962, English snooker player
Marco Pierre. born 1961, British chef and restaurateur
Patrick (Victor Martindale). 1912–90, Australian novelist: his works include Voss (1957), The Eye of the Storm (1973), and A Fringe of Leaves (1976): Nobel prize for literature 1973
T (erence) H (anbury). 1906–64, British novelist: author of the Arthurian sequence The Once and Future King (1939–58)
Willard (Wentworth) (ˈwɪlɑːd). born 1946, British operatic bass, born in Jamaica



having no hue due to the reflection of all or almost all incident lightCompare black (def. 1)
(of light, such as sunlight) consisting of all the colours of the spectrum or produced by certain mixtures of three additive primary colours, such as red, green, and blue
comparatively white or whitish-grey in colour or having parts of this colourwhite clover
(of an animal) having pale-coloured or white skin, fur, or feathers
bloodless or pale, as from pain, emotion, etc
(of hair, a beard, etc) silvery or grey, usually from age
benevolent or without malicious intentwhite magic
colourless or transparentwhite glass
capped with or accompanied by snowa white Christmas
(sometimes capital) counterrevolutionary, very conservative, or royalistCompare Red (def. 2)
blank, as an unprinted area of a page
(of wine) made from pale grapes or from black grapes separated from their skins
  1. (of coffee or tea) with milk or cream
  2. (of bread) made with white flour
physics having or characterized by a continuous distribution of energy, wavelength, or frequencywhite noise
informal honourable or generous
(of armour) made completely of iron or steel (esp in the phrase white harness)
rare morally unblemished
rare (of times, seasons, etc) auspicious; favourable
poetic, or archaic having a fair complexion; blond
bleed white to deprive slowly of resources
whiter than white
  1. extremely clean and white
  2. informalvery pure, honest, and moral


a white colour
the condition or quality of being white; whiteness
the white or lightly coloured part or area of something
the white the viscous fluid that surrounds the yolk of a bird's egg, esp a hen's egg; albumen
anatomy the white part (sclera) of the eyeball
any of various butterflies of the family PieridaeSee large white, small white, cabbage white
chess draughts
  1. a white or light-coloured piece or square
  2. (usually capital)the player playing with such pieces
anything that has or is characterized by a white colour, such as a white paint or pigment, a white cloth, a white ball in billiards
an unprinted area of a page
  1. the outer ring of the target, having the lowest score
  2. a shot or arrow hitting this ring
poetic fairness of complexion
in the white (of wood or furniture) left unpainted or unvarnished


(usually foll by out) to create or leave white spaces in (printed or other matter)
obsolete to make or become white
See also white out, whites
Derived Formswhitely, adverbwhiteness, nounwhitish, adjective

Word Origin for white

Old English hwīt; related to Old Frisian hwīt, Old Saxon hwīt, Old Norse hvītr, Gothic hveits, Old High German hwīz (German weiss)
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 half-white



Old English hwit, from Proto-Germanic *khwitaz (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian hwit, Old Norse hvitr, Dutch wit, Old High German hwiz, German weiß, Gothic hveits), from PIE *kwintos/*kwindos "bright" (cf. Sanskrit svetah "white;" Old Church Slavonic sviteti "to shine," svetu "light;" Lithuanian 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 Old English. Association with royalist causes is late 18c. Slang sense of "honorable, fair" is 1877, American English. 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. 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 adjective is from 1921; white-collar crime attested by 1964 (there is a white-collar criminaloids from 1934). Astronomical white dwarf is from 1924.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with half-white


In addition to the idioms beginning with white

  • white as a sheet
  • white elephant
  • white feather
  • white flag, show the
  • white lie
  • white sale

also see:

  • black and white
  • bleed someone white
  • great white hope
  • show the white feather
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.