Etymology
Advertisement

whitewash (v.)

1590s, "to wash a building surface with white liquid," from white (adj.) + wash (v.). Figurative sense of "to cover up, conceal, give a false appearance of cleanness to" is attested from 1762. Related: Whitewashed; whitewashing. The noun is recorded from 1690s; in the figurative sense from 1851. The earlier verb was whitelime (c. 1300).

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of whitewash
1
whitewash (v.)
cover up a misdemeanor, fault, or error;
Let's not whitewash the crimes of Stalin
Synonyms: gloss over / sleek over / hush up
whitewash (v.)
cover with whitewash;
whitewash walls
whitewash (v.)
exonerate by means of a perfunctory investigation or through biased presentation of data;
2
whitewash (n.)
a defeat in which the losing person or team fails to score;
whitewash (n.)
wash consisting of lime and size in water; used for whitening walls and other surfaces;
whitewash (n.)
a specious or deceptive clearing that attempts to gloss over failings and defects;
From wordnet.princeton.edu