white man

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Alternative forms[edit]


white man (plural white men)

  1. A Caucasian man; a man of northern European descent or having that appearance.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:white person
    • 1899 Feb, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, page 198:
      Therefore he whacked the old nigger mercilessly, while a big crowd of his people watched him, thunderstruck, till some man, - I was told the chief's son, - in desperation at hearing the old chap yell, made a tentative jab with a spear at the white man - and of course it went quite easy between the shoulder-blades.
  2. white people collectively; white culture.
    The arrival of the white man brought new things and new ideas, but also new wars and new diseases.
    • 1927, A. M. Hocart, Are Savages Custom-Bound?, in Man, vol. 27
      Savages are commonly supposed to be the slaves of custom to a far greater degree than the White Man, who by contrast appears as the child of reason.
    • 1933, G. St. J. Orde Browne, British Justice and the African, in the Journal of the Royal African Society, vol. 32, no. 127
      [] very little attempt seems to have been made so far to deal with the whole problem of the African in contact with white man’s law, []
  3. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see white,‎ man.
    • 1883, Henry Richter, Chess Simplified!, page 4:
      The white men are always put on that side of the board which commences by row 1, and the black men are placed opposite.
    • 1908, The Chess Amateur, volume 2, page 39:
      We will suppose that you are the player of the white men, and that your opponent[,] the player of the black men[,] is sitting opposite to you, ready for battle.

Derived terms[edit]


Related terms[edit]

black man