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pink +‎ wash, by analogy with whitewash.


pinkwash (third-person singular simple present pinkwashes, present participle pinkwashing, simple past and past participle pinkwashed)

  1. To cover in a coat of pink paint.
    • 1986, Susan Lardner, "Lotus Blossum", The New Yorker, 29 December 1986:
      [] I see, twenty yards away, workmen pinkwashing the newly laid, badly stained, cheap-looking brick cladding of a newly built apartment house called — well, something ridiculous: Nepal, let's say.
  2. To promote consumer goods and services using support of breast cancer-related charities.
    • 2008, Penelope Williams, Breast Cancer: Biography of an Illness, BPS Books (2008), →ISBN, page 162:
      They see such corporate involvement as exploitation, making profits on the backs of ill women. [] They claim these campaigns trivialize the disease, "pinkwashing" its real nature.
  3. (LGBT) To tout the gay-friendliness of something in an attempt to downplay or soften aspects of it considered negative.