English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

whitewash (ˈwaɪtˌwɒʃ



  1. 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
  2. (informal) deceptive or specious words or actions intended to conceal defects, gloss over failings, etc
  3. (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


verb (transitive)

  1. to cover or whiten with whitewash
  2. (informal) to conceal, gloss over, or suppress
  3. (informal) to defeat (an opponent or opposing team) by winning every match in a series

Derived Forms

ˈwhiteˌwasher  noun


View thesaurus entry
= cover up, conceal, suppress, camouflage, make light of, gloss over, extenuate, airbrush
= cover-up, deception, camouflage, concealment, smoke and mirrors, extenuation

Translations for 'whitewash'

  • British English: whitewash Whitewash is a mixture of lime or chalk and water used for painting walls white.ˈwaɪtˌwɒʃ NOUN
  • Arabic: بَيَاضٌ لِطِلَاءِ الـجُدْران
  • Brazilian Portuguese: cal
  • Chinese: 刷石灰
  • Croatian: bojati vapnom
  • Czech: vápenné mlékok bílení
  • Danish: kalk
  • Dutch: witwassen
  • European Spanish: encalar
  • Finnish: maalata kalkkimaalilla
  • French: lait à la chaux
  • German: tünchen
  • Greek: ασβεστώνω
  • Italian: imbiancare
  • Japanese: 漆喰を塗る
  • Korean: 희게 회칠하다
  • Norwegian: kalke
  • Polish: pobielić bielić
  • Portuguese: branquear
  • Romanian: lapte de var
  • Russian: белить
  • Spanish: blanquear
  • Swedish: bortförklara
  • Thai: ปูนขาวทาผนัง
  • Turkish: badanalamak
  • Ukrainian: вапняний розчин для білення
  • Vietnamese: quét vôi
  • British English: white-wash White-wash is a mixture of lime or chalk and water that is used for painting walls white. NOUN
  • Brazilian Portuguese: cal
  • Chinese: > 石灰水将墙壁刷成白色的
  • European Spanish: cal
  • French: lait de chauxN
  • German: Tünche
  • Italian: calce
  • Japanese: 水しっくい
  • Korean: 백색 도료
  • Portuguese: cal
  • Spanish: cal

Example Sentences Including 'whitewash'

There was another pool of blood by the wall next to the door, and a long dark smear on the whitewash.
Peter Robinson AFTERMATH (2001)
Somehow, the walls looked even higher close up, and they had curious marks that even fresh whitewash couldn't conceal.
Perhaps Kevin wants to make sure it's a whitewash job,' I tried.
Val McDermid DEAD BEAT (2002)


Log in to comment on this word.