nonwhite

[ non-wahyt, -hwahyt ]

adjective
  1. of or relating to a person or people who are not members of the sociocultural classification marked by slight pigmentation of the skin and associated with European descent: Both immigration and births contributed to nonwhite population growth in the most recent census.

noun
  1. a person who is not a member of the sociocultural classification marked by slight pigmentation of the skin and associated with European descent; a person of color.

Origin of nonwhite

1
First recorded in 1920–25; non- + white

usage note For nonwhite

Use of the word nonwhite to describe a population group has sometimes been criticized for implying in its very structure that “white” is the norm and anything else is a deviation from that norm. A more affirmative descriptive term, like person(s) of color, is often appropriate, as are other specific ethnic, cultural, or national designations. However, nonwhite is still in common use, especially in contexts where the focus is on statistical analyses of populations of European ancestry as distinguished from other populations. It is generally more acceptable as an adjective (strategies to get nonwhite voters to the polls) than as a noun (a candidate favored by nonwhites; the candidate who is a nonwhite ).

Words Nearby nonwhite

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nonwhite in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for non-White

non-White

noun
  1. a person not of the Caucasoid or White race

usage For non-White

This word may well cause offence. If you need to refer to people's race it may be better to specify it or else to use a phrase such as 'a person from a minority ethnic group'

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