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See also: white ant



From white ant (termite), suggesting the action of termites eating the inside of wooden building foundations, often leaving no outward evidence until the structure begins to crumble.


white-ant (third-person singular simple present white-ants, present participle white-anting, simple past and past participle white-anted)

  1. (Australia, colloquial) To bring down from within; to undermine.
    The white-anting of ATSIC has been brought about by the usual suspects. [1]
    If someone undermines you at work you might say they were "white-anting" you. [2]
    • 2002, Alan Barcan, Radical Students: The Old Left at Sydney University, page 324,
      The left was divided between the ALP Club, slowly being white-anted by supporters of the DLP, and a Labour or Socialist Club which disgraced the labour movement by its extremism.
    • 2005, Clinton Walker, Golden Miles: Sex, Speed and the Australian Muscle Car, page 149,
      Plans for the Force 7 had officially been announced earlier in ′74, off the back of the P76′s Car of the Year award, before the shortages and poor quality control started white-anting it.
    • 2008, Peter Van Onselen, Wayne Errington, John Winston Howard: The Definitive Biography, page 102,
      He was always prepared to contest an open ballot, when he viewed runs on the leadership as a free-for-all, but never challenged an incumbent leader. In time, Peacock supporters would accuse Howard of white-anting Peacock′s leadership.
    • 2011, Mark McKenna, An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, page 263,
      In May 1947, Clark ‘debated’ Edmunds on ABC Radio, the topic: ‘Is communism white-anting our education system?’—a clear invitation for violent disagreement.