anything, as deceptive words or actions, used to cover up or gloss over faults, errors, or wrongdoings, or absolve a wrongdoer from blame.
Sports Informal. a defeat in which the loser fails to score.
to whiten with whitewash.
to cover up or gloss over the faults or errors of, as to shield from suspicion or blame: His complaint with the soft drink industry is that they’ve whitewashed a serious health concernby normalizing the overconsumption of sugary beverages.The plan was to whitewash all the preliminary deals that led up to the “inadvertently illicit” contract, but the investigation revealed the coach’s hands all over those deals.
Sports Informal. to defeat by keeping the opponent from scoring: The home team whitewashed the visitors eight to nothing.
to cast a white actor to play (a character of color, or a character belonging to a minority group) in a film, television show, or play:The studio executives whitewashed the role of Genghis Khan, choosing a famous white actor who was a popular box-office draw.
to exclude or erase (a minority character or group) by substituting a member or members of the dominant cultural group in fictional representations of historical events:The film whitewashes Black trans women, attributing their contributions and actions to white gay men.: See also erase (def. 6).
- white·wash·er, noun
- white·wash·ing, noun
- un·white·washed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use whitewash in a sentence
González was on the brink of unconsciousness when a rescue jet ski swooped in to save him from the swirling whitewash.Training for Big-Wave Surfing? It's All in Your Head. | Kade Krichko | November 22, 2020 | Outside Online
In the latest Weekly Standard can be found an editorial under the headline “The Benghazi whitewash.”
Plus, on cable you no longer have to whitewash the story and appease the masses, so the narratives are getting more interesting.Jeremy Renner Opens Up About Marriage, His Problems with the Media, and the Future of Hawk-Eye | Marlow Stern | September 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“We help whitewash monasteries, rebuild structures, and teach English and math in classrooms,” Reed says.
She must whitewash these brown men and women, rid them of their savage, slavish ways, and repaint them in her own image.The Abused Wives of Westeros: A Song of Feminism in ‘Game of Thrones’ | Amy Zimmerman | April 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I just wasn't cut out to be a whitewash salesman, so to speak.Bob Kurland, the First Player to Dunk, Was a Pioneer for Big Men | Kevin Fixler | March 21, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
To quote Mrs. Kaye, 'A Liberal peer is as useful as a fifth wheel to a coach, and as ornamental as whitewash.'Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
Historians, as a rule, are more given to the use of whitewash than a political investigating committee.The Affable Stranger | Peter McArthur
Dean Percy removed the whitewash from some of them, and they are now all restored to their original condition as far as possible.Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Carlisle | C. King Eley
A good deal of whitewash has flowed past the fence, but Tom Sawyer's trick still holds good.Seeing Things at Night | Heywood Broun
I do not wish to eulogize, still less to whitewash, so great a man, but only to render simple justice to his memory and deeds.Beacon Lights of History, Volume XII | John Lord
British Dictionary definitions for whitewash
a substance used for whitening walls and other surfaces, consisting of a suspension of lime or whiting in water, often with other substances, such as size, added
informal deceptive or specious words or actions intended to conceal defects, gloss over failings, etc
informal a defeat in a sporting contest in which the loser is beaten in every match, game, etc in a series: they face the prospect of a whitewash in the five-test series
to cover or whiten with whitewash
informal to conceal, gloss over, or suppress
informal to defeat (an opponent or opposing team) by winning every match in a series
- whitewasher, noun
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