[hwahy-ting, wahy-]
See more synonyms for whiting on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural (especially collectively) whit·ing, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) whit·ings.
  1. a slender food fish of the genus Menticirrhus, of the croaker family, inhabiting waters along the Atlantic coast of North America.
  2. the hake, Merluccius bilinearis.
  3. any of several European fishes of the cod family, especially Merlangus merlangus.

Origin of whiting

1400–50; late Middle English, perhaps alteration of Old English hwītling kind of fish; compare Middle Dutch witinc, of which the E may be a translation


[hwahy-ting, wahy-]
  1. pure-white chalk (calcium carbonate) that has been ground and washed, used in making putty, whitewash, silver polish, etc.

Origin of whiting

1400–50; late Middle English; compare Old English hwīting-, in hwītingmelu; see meal2. See white, -ing1


[hwahyt, wahyt]
adjective, whit·er, whit·est.
  1. of the color of pure snow, of the margins of this page, etc.; reflecting nearly all the rays of sunlight or a similar light.
  2. light or comparatively light in color.
  3. (of human beings) belonging to a group marked by slight pigmentation of the skin, often of European descent.
  4. for, limited to, or predominantly made up of white people: a white neighborhood.
  5. pallid or pale, as from fear or other strong emotion: white with rage.
  6. silvery, gray, or hoary: white hair.
  7. snowy: a white Christmas.
  8. lacking color; transparent.
  9. (politically) ultraconservative.
  10. blank, as an unoccupied space in printed matter: Fill in the white space below.
  11. Armor. composed entirely of polished steel plates without fabric or other covering; alwite.
  12. wearing white clothing: a white monk.
  13. Older Use: Offensive. decent, honorable, or dependable: That's mighty white of you.
  14. auspicious or fortunate.
  15. morally pure; innocent.
  16. without malice; harmless: white magic.
  17. (of wines) light-colored or yellowish, as opposed to red.
  18. British. (of coffee) containing milk.
  1. a color without hue at one extreme end of the scale of grays, opposite to black. A white surface reflects light of all hues completely and diffusely. Most so-called whites are very light grays: fresh snow, for example, reflects about 80 percent of the incident light, but to be strictly white, snow would have to reflect 100 percent of the incident light. It is the ultimate limit of a series of shades of any color.Compare black(def 20).
  2. a hue completely desaturated by admixture with white, the highest value possible.
  3. quality or state of being white.
  4. lightness of skin pigment.
  5. a person with light-colored skin, often of European descent.
  6. a white material or substance.
  7. the white part of something.
  8. Biology. a pellucid viscous fluid that surrounds the yolk of an egg; albumen.
  9. the white part of the eyeball: He has a speck in the white of his eye.
  10. whites,
    1. white or nearly white clothing, as in tennis whites.
    2. top-grade white flour.
  11. white wine: Graves is a good white.
  12. a type or breed that is white in color.
  13. Usually whites. a blank space in printing.
  14. (initial capital letter) a hog of any of several breeds having a white coat, as a Chester White.
  15. Entomology. any of several white-winged butterflies of the family Pieridae, as the common cabbage butterflies.
  16. white fabric.
  17. Archery.
    1. the outermost ring of the butt.
    2. an arrow that hits this portion of the butt.
    3. the central part of the butt or target, formerly painted white but now painted gold or yellow.
    4. Archaic.a target painted white.
  18. Chess, Checkers. the men or pieces that are light-colored.
  19. (often initial capital letter) a member of a royalist, conservative, or reactionary political party.
verb (used with object), whit·ed, whit·ing.
  1. Printing.
    1. to make white by leaving blank spaces (often followed by out).
    2. to whiten (areas of artwork) in retouching preparatory to photoengraving (often followed by out).
  2. Archaic. to make white; whiten.
Verb Phrases
  1. white out,
    1. to cover (errors in copy) with a white correction fluid.
    2. to censor, as by obliterating words or passages with white ink.
  1. bleed white, Informal. to be or cause to be deprived of all one's resources: Dishonesty is bleeding the union white.
  2. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whiting

Contemporary Examples of whiting

Historical Examples of whiting

British Dictionary definitions for whiting


  1. an important gadoid food fish, Merlangius (or Gadus) merlangus, of European seas, having a dark back with silvery sides and underparts
  2. any of various similar fishes, such as Merluccius bilinearis, a hake of American Atlantic waters, and any of several Atlantic sciaenid fishes of the genus Menticirrhus
  3. Australian any of several marine food fishes of the genus Sillago
  4. whiting pout another name for bib (def. 3)

Word Origin for whiting

C15: perhaps from Old English hwītling; related to Middle Dutch wijting. See white, -ing ³


  1. white chalk that has been ground and washed, used in making whitewash, metal polish, etcAlso called: whitening


  1. a person, esp one of European ancestry, from a human population having light pigmentation of the skin
  1. denoting or relating to a White person or White people


  1. Gilbert. 1720–93, English clergyman and naturalist, noted for his Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789)
  2. Jimmy. born 1962, English snooker player
  3. Marco Pierre. born 1961, British chef and restaurateur
  4. 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
  5. T (erence) H (anbury). 1906–64, British novelist: author of the Arthurian sequence The Once and Future King (1939–58)
  6. Willard (Wentworth) (ˈwɪlɑːd). born 1946, British operatic bass, born in Jamaica


  1. having no hue due to the reflection of all or almost all incident lightCompare black (def. 1)
  2. (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
  3. comparatively white or whitish-grey in colour or having parts of this colourwhite clover
  4. (of an animal) having pale-coloured or white skin, fur, or feathers
  5. bloodless or pale, as from pain, emotion, etc
  6. (of hair, a beard, etc) silvery or grey, usually from age
  7. benevolent or without malicious intentwhite magic
  8. colourless or transparentwhite glass
  9. capped with or accompanied by snowa white Christmas
  10. (sometimes capital) counterrevolutionary, very conservative, or royalistCompare Red (def. 2)
  11. blank, as an unprinted area of a page
  12. (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
  13. physics having or characterized by a continuous distribution of energy, wavelength, or frequencywhite noise
  14. informal honourable or generous
  15. (of armour) made completely of iron or steel (esp in the phrase white harness)
  16. rare morally unblemished
  17. rare (of times, seasons, etc) auspicious; favourable
  18. poetic, or archaic having a fair complexion; blond
  19. bleed white to deprive slowly of resources
  20. whiter than white
    1. extremely clean and white
    2. informalvery pure, honest, and moral
  1. a white colour
  2. the condition or quality of being white; whiteness
  3. the white or lightly coloured part or area of something
  4. the white the viscous fluid that surrounds the yolk of a bird's egg, esp a hen's egg; albumen
  5. anatomy the white part (sclera) of the eyeball
  6. any of various butterflies of the family PieridaeSee large white, small white, cabbage white
  7. chess draughts
    1. a white or light-coloured piece or square
    2. (usually capital)the player playing with such pieces
  8. 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
  9. an unprinted area of a page
  10. archery
    1. the outer ring of the target, having the lowest score
    2. a shot or arrow hitting this ring
  11. poetic fairness of complexion
  12. in the white (of wood or furniture) left unpainted or unvarnished
  1. (usually foll by out) to create or leave white spaces in (printed or other matter)
  2. 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 whiting



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 whiting


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.