Meaning of whitewash in English:


Pronunciation /ˈwʌɪtwɒʃ/

See synonyms for whitewash

Translate whitewash into Spanish


  • 1mass noun A solution of lime and water or of whiting, size, and water, used for painting walls white.

    ‘The saddlebags had been brought from the stables and rested on a wooden bench near the washstand, already patterned with chips of whitewash flaking from the walls.’
    • ‘Never mix insecticides in ordinary lime whitewash.’
    • ‘Most Andalusian villages are white since whitewash covers the walls of the houses but only one itinerary in the region is called the Route of the White Villages.’
    • ‘Men dig the raw material in the mountains and transport it to their homes where women apply it to the house walls as whitewash.’
    • ‘In my own garden I have an old stone wall with remnants of whitewash that reflects the sunlight and heat in summer.’
    • ‘Many of the buildings are faced with light-hued stone or stucco daubed with whitewash, the doors and window frames of some painted blue-the color for good luck.’
    • ‘Casts of sports trophies, a toy train, a saw, a football and a cross are some of the items embedded in the work, all of them rendered fossil-like by the lime whitewash.’
    • ‘The whitewash walls were in good repair but the roof was mossy and many of the tiles were cracked or askew.’
    • ‘But Monty didn't stop his whitewash at the front door.’
    • ‘They were of an older stile, bricks and mortar peeping out from behind chipped whitewash.’
    • ‘The two main churches, the Nieuwe Kerk and the Oude Kerk, are serene oases of wood, brick and whitewash.’
    • ‘All his polychromes were thought to have been lost or defaced, until some of them were accidentally found just two years ago, hidden under whitewash and plaster, by a German film team making a documentary on the writer.’
    • ‘These wall paintings were executed sometime during the later sixteenth century and covered with whitewash (rather than sanded off) in the seventeenth century as tastes changed.’
    • ‘A health education program is needed that explains the dangers of asbestos exposure and warns about the use of asbestos-containing soils for whitewash.’
    • ‘The morning the debate on Hutton was held, demonstrators dressed as judges threw whitewash at the gates of Blair's Number 10 Downing Street residence.’
    • ‘Wall paintings in particular, once so abundant, have succumbed to decay, destruction, or covering over with whitewash.’
    • ‘But no amount of whitewash and tarmac can hide Georgian society's deeper malaise.’
    • ‘Light spattered down the steps like whitewash off a sloppy painter's brush, but the splashes caught no one.’
    • ‘Chunks of whitewash were missing exposing the grey material underneath.’
    • ‘Lime whitewashes are very alkaline and cause insecticides to become ineffective in controlling insects.’
  • 2in singular A deliberate attempt to conceal unpleasant or incriminating facts about a person or organization in order to protect their reputation.

    ‘the opposition called the report ‘a whitewash’’
    • ‘They were accused of a whitewash, and the voters expressed their contempt at the ballot box.’
    • ‘There are a lot of people saying this was a whitewash designed to protect them in an election year.’
    • ‘‘The families feel we are the victims of a whitewash and a cover-up in order to protect careers of certain individuals,’ he added.’
    • ‘As the hearing opened, there was further evidence of a whitewash to protect more senior officers.’
    • ‘Both agree the report was essentially a whitewash.’
    • ‘At the time, Elisse Hategan, a prominent defector from the Heritage Front, slammed the report as a whitewash.’
    • ‘But there was a growing backlash from supporters of the BBC who claimed Lord Hutton's report had been a whitewash.’
    • ‘Michelle thinks the report is a whitewash, and I haven't read it in enough detail to disagree.’
    • ‘This journalist unhesitatingly labels the report a whitewash.’
    • ‘Those who brand the Butler report a whitewash are talking nonsense to further their own political ends.’
    • ‘The University's first response to the allegations back in 2002, under the previous Vice Chancellor, was largely a whitewash relying on a report from the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.’
    • ‘Months later, in October 2002, the committee's Certain Maritime Incident report produced a whitewash.’
    • ‘In other words, the media report is a classic whitewash.’
    • ‘The president of Rats campaign group, Paul Dainton, welcomed the reports but said they were something of a whitewash.’
    • ‘The ‘review’ is certain to be another whitewash.’
    • ‘Graham, Goss and Shelby all defended Snider, with Shelby declaring he is ‘not going to be associated with any whitewash.’’
    • ‘So this limpid, adorable film is also a tough, matter-of-fact portrait of the everyday, not a sentimental, redemptive whitewash.’
    • ‘The obituary was the usual nostalgic whitewash.’
    • ‘For starters, van Buitenen wants to make sure there is no whitewash of the corruption cases he exposed in 1999.’
    • ‘We look forward to its conclusions, and trust that it will not be another socialist whitewash of the existing failed policy.’
    cover-up, -gate, camouflage, disguise, mask, concealment, suppression, deception, false front, facade, veneer, pretext
    View synonyms
  • 3 informal A victory by the same side in every game of a series.

    • ‘the Lions went downhill to a 4–0 whitewash’
    • ‘The only better run is by West Indies, who won ten successive Tests against England in the course of consecutive series whitewashes in 1984 and 1985-86.’
    • ‘Bubwith's Cliff Harrison and Jill Schofield were the top performers in both matches, including two whitewashes in their match against York, to end the night with 33 games.’
    • ‘This followed earlier whitewashes of Heworth and Bootham, the other two teams in the league.’
    • ‘South Africa avoided a series whitewash with a 65-run win over Australia in the rain affected final limited overs cricket international at Newlands here yesterday.’
    • ‘It was left to Vaughan and Andrew Strauss to calmly complete the victory by adding the 46 runs required to complete victory and keep England on course for a series whitewash.’
    • ‘In the arena of real sport though, Michael Vaughan and the England boys cruised to a whitewash 3-0 series victory over New Zealand.’
    • ‘With the Frank Worrell Trophy in the bag, a series whitewash is looming large against a team that fielded only three frontline bowlers in Trinidad and has seemingly abandoned the art of wicket-taking.’
    • ‘Sri Lanka had their eyes on a series whitewash long before Marvan Atapattu called his players in with the Sri Lankan score on 375 for 7.’
    • ‘At stake for them was avoiding a series whitewash and getting a record winning chase total.’
    • ‘Zimbabwe won the third one-day international in succession against Bangladesh yesterday for a 3-0 whitewash in the series.’
    • ‘He was not a patch on the hitherto unsung Michael Kasprowicz, who bowled with fire, bounce and zest during Australia's 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka.’
    • ‘Jack's, always near the top of the table, finished the season in third place after a 10-0 whitewash of Tippy's 2.’
    • ‘Even within the 3 - whitewash in Australia, there were glimpses after Perth that this Pakistan is not as ready to roll over as previous sides.’
    • ‘With the Test series fast approaching, Fleming will be hoping for similar hands from the rest of his batsmen to prevent yet another whitewash at the hands of Pakistan.’
    • ‘Ronnie O'Sullivan admitted he had not scaled the heights against Alan McManus despite claiming a 6 - whitewash.’
    • ‘Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath had predicted a 5 - whitewash before the first test.’
    • ‘Roland Garros has not seen a player so dominant in a women's final since Steffi Graf's whitewash of Natalia Zvereva in 1988.’
    • ‘But while the Springboks' stock has steadily risen since RWC'03, the Wallabies have been going in the opposite direction after suffering a Tri Nations whitewash for the first time.’
    • ‘Doherty had to produce a performance akin to his 8-0 session whitewash of John Higgins earlier in the tournament if he was to have a chance of achieving one of the greatest comebacks in Crucible history.’
    • ‘However 28-year-old Duggleby had to work a little harder in the 6-0 whitewash of Northumberland when it took a last hole win to see off the challenge of Julie Ross.’


[with object]
  • 1Paint (a wall, building, or room) with whitewash.

    ‘the brick walls have been whitewashed’
    • ‘Even in smaller houses, plaster was applied to finish interior walls and then whitewashed, painted or easily covered with wallpaper.’
    • ‘The few other streets wandered pleasantly past whitewashed buildings, the door frames painted blue or green or purple or red.’
    • ‘The Shakers initially whitewashed the plaster walls and painted the interior woodwork.’
    • ‘The Americans whitewashed the walls to cover the burns, and it has since been called the White House.’
    • ‘In subsequent days he continued to paint and whitewash the farm buildings, contributing to a more prosperous appearance for the new farm as a whole and creating marital harmony in the bargain.’
    • ‘Worse still, the walls are whitewashed haphazardly; the windows have the slightest bit of lint on them, and the room's smaller than a handkerchief.’
    • ‘Instead it whitewashed the interior walls and invited passers-by to write messages on them with felt-tip pens.’
    • ‘The walls were whitewashed, sporting a band of azure as trim, and the floors were carpeted with a matching blue color.’
    • ‘How dare the new owners cut down those old fruit trees, not whitewash the walls, and put in those ugly blue tiles!’
    • ‘When the show's over, this and the three other smaller wall works will be whitewashed.’
    • ‘The spacious area was surrounded with lofty walls, whitewashed and cleansed thoroughly, topped with black curved tiles like a sort of roofing.’
    • ‘The walls should be whitewashed and all swept down and a few stones of lime slacked in every loose box and spread all over the shippon floor.’
    • ‘Robert Dunne and Jonathan Carney were given €25 each for whitewashing an outside wall and painting a corridor.’
    • ‘The high ceiling and the upper walls were plastered and whitewashed, a brilliant white in the illumination from skylights.’
    • ‘His walls had been whitewashed and so the whole place seemed clean and fresh.’
    • ‘The walls had been whitewashed once, but now they were quite filthy.’
    • ‘Now, people also take care that they don't damage inscriptions, mainly during temple renovations and while whitewashing the temple walls.’
    • ‘In Italy, minding a friend's house, we managed to flood it, and spent much of our stay whitewashing walls which looked as if they'd been stained with nicotine.’
    • ‘If the basket will be painted, pickled, whitewashed or glazed, do so prior to lining, and let it dry thoroughly.’
    • ‘The residents were directed to whitewash houses, clean backyards and houses, fence wells and clean latrines twice a day, within 24 hours.’
  • 2Deliberately attempt to conceal unpleasant or incriminating facts about (someone or something)

    ‘most sources prefer to ignore or whitewash the most disturbing aspect of such reports’
    • ‘there have been efforts to whitewash the minister's grim record’
    • ‘The heroes are mostly whitewashed and predictable.’
    • ‘Retrospective media coverage has whitewashed King while ignoring how his messages are radical challenges to the status quo of today.’
    • ‘It would be wrong, however, to whitewash him as the last of the old-school, voluntarily resigning statesmen.’
    • ‘Such frankness contrasts with a widespread tendency in the past in the U.S. press and among establishment-oriented writers to whitewash Western client regimes.’
    • ‘Granted, he does whitewash the bad guys to a point where a fine actor like Meat Loaf Aday is left with little to be play but straight evil guy next door.’
    • ‘Recently, however, efforts have been made, not to whitewash James, but at least to take a more balanced look at his character.’
    • ‘He was deeply involved in the attempt to whitewash and cover up the My Lai massacre.’
    • ‘Steve Friend told the Comet he believes local Tories are trying to turn the issue into a vote winner by whitewashing over the facts regarding the development.’
    • ‘This too me seems to be a lame excuse and the article an attempt to whitewash the failings of the Congress government.’
    • ‘Let's hope the bill is not merely an attempt to whitewash over people's fears about education in this increasingly difficult time.’
    • ‘As Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch says, ‘Instead of whitewashing the facts, the Pentagon needs to come clean about the army's use of cluster munitions.’’
    • ‘They are the outcome of an attempt to whitewash the Romans in order to make the new covenant faith more acceptable to gentiles.’
    • ‘In other words, the problem was that the election process was so tainted that it feared its attempts to whitewash the poll would be rapidly exposed.’
    • ‘Both inquiries are intended to whitewash this fact.’
    • ‘Frohnmayer attempted to whitewash his hapless record; at least Alexander is more self-critical.’
    • ‘The commission, despite its attempts to whitewash the government, was compelled to admit that slavery existed.’
    • ‘Writers who whitewash the facts in order to present their side of a story don't do anyone any good, least of all their own followers.’
    • ‘In an effort to shore up his position the chief is attempting to enlist the support of the NAACP and other middle class religious and community organizations to whitewash the killings.’
    • ‘Both the government and opposition are now engaged in attempting to whitewash the military.’
    cover up, sweep under the carpet, hush up, suppress, draw a veil over, pull a veil over, conceal, camouflage, keep secret, keep dark, cloak, screen, veil, obscure
    View synonyms
  • 3 informal Defeat (an opponent) in every game of a series.

    • ‘Ireland were whitewashed 5-0’
    • ‘Our girls got off to a great start and threatened to whitewash their opponents in the first half.’
    • ‘Although the paceman captured 11 wickets in the first two Tests, Pakistan was whitewashed 3-0 in the series.’
    • ‘The third and final Test starts on January 2 and the South Africans will face an uphill struggle to prevent being whitewashed in the series, the source said.’
    • ‘Cheshire overpowered North Wales 13-5 at Vicars Cross after whitewashing them 6-0 in the foursomes.’
    • ‘And what about his Yankees, whitewashed by a wild-card team that won only 19 of its final 50 games in the regular season?’
    • ‘The Astros were shutout four times during this period and have been whitewashed a total of five times with Roger on the mound.’
    • ‘Elsewhere in Division Two, the Lothersdale ‘B’ stunned Embassy Ambassadors ‘C’ by whitewashing their hosts.’
    • ‘This record allowed New Zealand to win the Tri-Nations, retain the Bledisloe Cup, whitewash the British and Irish Lions, and gain their ‘Grand Slam’.’
    • ‘The Kitwe giants whitewashed Chambishi 41-0 in an earlier fixture.’
    • ‘South Africa were in the process of being whitewashed by Australia anyway, but once the selection was made they rolled over to have their tummies tickled.’
    • ‘Not all hope should be lost after your Eagles get whitewashed by the Patriots.’
    • ‘Swiss challengers Alinghi became the first European team to win the America's Cup after whitewashing Team New Zealand 5-0 in the best-of-nine series.’
    • ‘Last summer, West Indies slumped to their first series defeat against England for 31 years and were then whitewashed 5-0 in Australia.’
    • ‘After whitewashing Khan 9-0 in the first game, Quibell dropped the second in a tiebreaker and the third by a one-sided 9-2.’
    • ‘Scarborough claimed the North Eastern Ladies League after whitewashing York in the title decider 99-64 to collect all ten points at stake.’
    • ‘They pulled off a magnificent triple by whitewashing Leeds Metropolitan University, Menwith Hill and Leeds 3-0.’
    • ‘New Zealand, who had been whitewashed in the three-match Test series by England, salvaged some pride by beating West Indies in the triangular one-day series final at Lord's.’
    • ‘Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, has maintained that his team will not take West Indies lightly in spite of whitewashing them in the one-dayers.’
    • ‘Only 72 hours after pouring six goals on Ecuador, Argentina was whitewashed by a stubborn Mexican defense, despite dominating play.’
    • ‘In the other fixture S&R Vikings put in a tremendous effort to whitewash Neata Glass Scorpions, taking the honours with 9 -.’