Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Whisperer noun


1. One who whispers.

2. A tattler; one who tells secrets; a conveyer of intelligence secretly; hence; a backbiter; one who slanders secretly. Prov. xvi. 28.

Whispering adjective & noun from Whisper . transitive verb

Whispering gallery , or Whispering dome , one of such a form that sounds produced in certain parts of it are concentrated by reflection from the walls to another part, so that whispers or feeble sounds are audible at a much greater distance than under ordinary circumstances.

Whisperingly adverb In a whisper, or low voice; in a whispering manner; with whispers. Tennyson.

Whisperously adverb Whisperingly. [ R.]

Whist interj. [ Confer German st ! pst ! bst ! .......... Confer Hist .] Be silent; be still; hush; silence.

Whist noun [ From Whist , interj .] A certain game at cards; -- so called because it requires silence and close attention. It is played by four persons (those who sit opposite each other being partners) with a complete pack of fifty-two cards. Each player has thirteen cards, and when these are played out, he hand is finished, and the cards are again shuffled and distributed.

» Points are scored for the tricks taken in excess of six, and for the honors held. In long whist , now seldom played, ten points make the game; in short whist , now usually played in England, five points make the game. In American whist , so-called, honors are not counted, and seven points by tricks make the game.

Whist transitive verb [ From Whist , interj .] To hush or silence. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

Whist intransitive verb To be or become silent or still; to be hushed or mute. [ R.] Surrey.

Whist adjective [ Properly past participle of whist , v.] Not speaking; not making a noise; silent; mute; still; quiet. "So whist and dead a silence." Sir J. Harrington.

The winds, with wonder whist ,
Smoothly the waters kissed.
Milton.

» This adjective generally follows its noun, or is used predicatively.

Whist noun -- Bridge whist . See Bridge , noun , above. -- Duplicate whist , a form of whist in playing which the hands are preserved as dealt and played again by other players, as when each side holds in the second round the cards played by the opposing side in the first round. -- Solo whist . See Solo whist , above.

Whistle intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Whistled ; present participle & verbal noun Whistling .] [ Anglo-Saxon hwistlian ; akin to Swedish hvissla , Danish hvisle , Icelandic hvīsla to whisper, and English whisper . √43. See Whisper .]


1. To make a kind of musical sound, or series of sounds, by forcing the breath through a small orifice formed by contracting the lips; also, to emit a similar sound, or series of notes, from the mouth or beak, as birds.

The weary plowman leaves the task of day,
And, trudging homeward, whistles on the way.
Gay.

2. To make a shrill sound with a wind or steam instrument, somewhat like that made with the lips; to blow a sharp, shrill tone.

3. To sound shrill, or like a pipe; to make a sharp, shrill sound; as, a bullet whistles through the air.

The wild winds whistle , and the billows roar.
Pope.

Whistle transitive verb


1. To form, utter, or modulate by whistling; as, to whistle a tune or an air.

2. To send, signal, or call by a whistle.

He chanced to miss his dog; we stood still till he had whistled him up.
Addison.

To whistle off . (a) To dismiss by a whistle; -- a term in hawking. "AS a long-winged hawk when he is first whistled off the fist, mounts aloft." Burton. (b) Hence, in general, to turn loose; to abandon; to dismiss.

I 'ld whistle her off , and let her down the wind
To prey at fortune.
Shak.

» "A hawk seems to have been usually sent off in this way, against the wind when sent in search of prey; with or down the wind, when turned loose, and abandoned." Nares.

Whistle noun [ Anglo-Saxon hwistle a pipe, flute, whistle. See Whistle , intransitive verb ]


1. A sharp, shrill, more or less musical sound, made by forcing the breath through a small orifice of the lips, or through or instrument which gives a similar sound; the sound used by a sportsman in calling his dogs; the shrill note of a bird; as, the sharp whistle of a boy, or of a boatswain's pipe; the blackbird's mellow whistle .

Might we but hear
The folded flocks, penned in their wattled cotes, . . .
Or whistle from the lodge.
Milton.

The countryman could not forbear smiling, . . . and by that means lost his whistle .
Spectator.

They fear his whistle , and forsake the seas.
Dryden.

2. The shrill sound made by wind passing among trees or through crevices, or that made by bullet, or the like, passing rapidly through the air; the shrill noise (much used as a signal, etc.) made by steam or gas escaping through a small orifice, or impinging against the edge of a metallic bell or cup.

3. An instrument in which gas or steam forced into a cavity, or against a thin edge, produces a sound more or less like that made by one who whistles through the compressed lips; as, a child's whistle ; a boatswain's whistle ; a steam whistle (see Steam whistle , under Steam ).

The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew.
Pope.

4. The mouth and throat; -- so called as being the organs of whistling. [ Colloq.]

So was her jolly whistle well ywet.
Chaucer.

Let's drink the other cup to wet our whistles .
Walton.

Whistle duck (Zoology) , the American golden-eye.

Whistlefish noun (Zoology) A gossat, or rockling; -- called also whistler , three- bearded rockling , sea loach , and sorghe .

Whistler noun [ Anglo-Saxon hwistlere .]


1. One who, or that which, whistles, or produces or a whistling sound.

2. (Zoology) (a) The ring ousel. (b) The widgeon. [ Prov. Eng.] (c) The golden-eye. (d) The golden plover and the gray plover.

3. (Zoology) The hoary, or northern, marmot ( Arctomys pruinosus ).

4. (Zoology) The whistlefish.

Whistlewing noun (Zoology) The American golden-eye.

Whistlewood noun (Botany) The moosewood, or striped maple. See Maple .

Whistling adjective & noun from Whistle , v.

Whistling buoy . (Nautical) See under Buoy . -- Whistling coot (Zoology) , the American black scoter. -- Whistling Dick . (Zoology) (a) An Australian shrike thrush ( Colluricincla Selbii ). (b) The song thrush. [ Prov. Eng.] -- Whistling duck . (Zoology) (a) The golden-eye. (b) A tree duck. -- Whistling eagle (Zoology) , a small Australian eagle ( Haliastur sphenurus ); -- called also whistling hawk , and little swamp eagle . -- Whistling plover . (Zoology) (a) The golden plover. (b) The black-bellied, or gray, plover. -- Whistling snipe (Zoology) , the American woodcock. -- Whistling swan . (Zoology) (a) The European whooper swan; -- called also wild swan , and elk . (b) An American swan ( Olor columbianus ). See under Swan . -- Whistling teal (Zoology) , a tree duck, as Dendrocygna awsuree of India. -- Whistling thrush . (Zoology) (a) Any one of several species of singing birds of the genus Myiophonus , native of Asia, Australia, and the East Indies. They are generally black, glossed with blue, and have a patch of bright blue on each shoulder. Their note is a loud and clear whistle. (b) The song thrush. [ Prov. Eng.]

Whistlingly adverb In a whistling manner; shrilly.

Whistly adverb In a whist manner; silently. [ Obsolete]

Whit noun [ Middle English wight , wiht , Anglo-Saxon wiht a creature, a thing. See Wight , and confer Aught , Naught .] The smallest part or particle imaginable; a bit; a jot; an iota; -- generally used in an adverbial phrase in a negative sentence. "Samuel told him every whit ." 1 Sam. iii. 18. "Every whit as great." South.

So shall I no whit be behind in duty.
Shak.

It does not me a whit displease.
Cowley.

White adjective [ Compar. Whiter ; superl. Whitest .] [ Middle English whit , Anglo-Saxon hw...t ; akin to OFries. and Old Saxon hwīt , Dutch wit , German weiss , Old High German wīz , hwīz , Icelandic hvītr , Swedish hvit , Danish hvid , Goth. hweits , Lithuanian szveisti , to make bright, Russian sviet' light, Sanskrit ...v...ta white, ...vit to be bright. .......... Confer Wheat , Whitsunday .]


1. Reflecting to the eye all the rays of the spectrum combined; not tinted with any of the proper colors or their mixtures; having the color of pure snow; snowy; -- the opposite of black or dark ; as, white paper; a white skin. "Pearls white ." Chaucer.

White as the whitest lily on a stream.
Longfellow.

2. Destitute of color, as in the cheeks, or of the tinge of blood color; pale; pallid; as, white with fear.

Or whispering with white lips, "The foe!
They come! they come!"
Byron.

3. Having the color of purity; free from spot or blemish, or from guilt or pollution; innocent; pure.

White as thy fame, and as thy honor clear.
Dryden.

No whiter page than Addison's remains.
Pope.

4. Gray, as from age; having silvery hair; hoary.

Your high engendered battles 'gainst a head
So old and white as this.
Shak.

5. Characterized by freedom from that which disturbs, and the like; fortunate; happy; favorable.

On the whole, however, the dominie reckoned this as one of the white days of his life.
Sir W. Scott.

6. Regarded with especial favor; favorite; darling.

Come forth, my white spouse.
Chaucer.

I am his white boy, and will not be gullet.
Ford.

» White is used in many self-explaining compounds, as white -backed, white -bearded, white -footed.

White alder . (Botany) See Sweet pepper bush , under Pepper . -- White ant (Zoology) , any one of numerous species of social pseudoneuropterous insects of the genus Termes . These insects are very abundant in tropical countries, and form large and complex communities consisting of numerous asexual workers of one or more kinds, of large- headed asexual individuals called soldiers , of one or more queens (or fertile females) often having the body enormously distended by the eggs, and, at certain seasons of numerous winged males, together with the larvæ and pupæ of each kind in various stages of development. Many of the species construct large and complicated nests, sometimes in the form of domelike structures rising several feet above the ground and connected with extensive subterranean galleries and chambers. In their social habits they closely resemble the true ants. They feed upon animal and vegetable substances of various kinds, including timber, and are often very destructive to buildings and furniture. -- White arsenic (Chemistry) , arsenious oxide, As 2 O 3 , a substance of a white color, and vitreous adamantine luster, having an astringent, sweetish taste. It is a deadly poison. -- White bass (Zoology) , a fresh-water North American bass ( Roccus chrysops ) found in the Great Likes. -- White bear (Zoology) , the polar bear. See under Polar . -- White blood cell . (Physiol.) See Leucocyte . -- White brand (Zoology) , the snow goose. -- White brass , a white alloy of copper; white copper. -- White campion . (Botany) (a) A kind of catchfly ( Silene stellata ) with white flowers. (b) A white-flowered Lychnis ( Lychnis vespertina ). -- White canon (R. C. Ch.) , a Premonstratensian. -- White caps , the members of a secret organization in various of the United States, who attempt to drive away or reform obnoxious persons by lynch-law methods. They appear masked in white. -- White cedar (Botany) , an evergreen tree of North America ( Thuja occidentalis ), also the related Cupressus thyoides , or Chamæcyparis sphæroidea , a slender evergreen conifer which grows in the so-called cedar swamps of the Northern and Atlantic States. Both are much valued for their durable timber. In California the name is given to the Libocedrus decurrens , the timber of which is also useful, though often subject to dry rot. Goodale. The white cedar of Demerara, Guiana, etc., is a lofty tree ( Icica, or Bursera, altissima ) whose fragrant wood is used for canoes and cabinetwork, as it is not attacked by insect. -- White cell . (Physiol.) See Leucocyte . -- White cell- blood (Medicine) , leucocythæmia. -- White clover (Botany) , a species of small perennial clover bearing white flowers. It furnishes excellent food for cattle and horses, as well as for the honeybee. See also under Clover . -- White copper , a whitish alloy of copper. See German silver , under German . -- White copperas (Min.) , a native hydrous sulphate of iron; coquimbite. -- White coral (Zoology) , an ornamental branched coral ( Amphihelia oculata ) native of the Mediterranean. -- White corpuscle . (Physiol.) See Leucocyte . -- White cricket (Zoology) , the tree cricket. -- White crop , a crop of grain which loses its green color, or becomes white, in ripening, as wheat, rye, barley, and oats, as distinguished from a green crop , or a root crop . -- White currant (Botany) , a variety of the common red currant, having white berries. -- White daisy (Botany) , the oxeye daisy. See under Daisy . -- White damp , a kind of poisonous gas encountered in coal mines. Raymond. -- White elephant (Zoology) , a whitish, or albino, variety of the Asiatic elephant. -- White elm (Botany) , a majestic tree of North America ( Ulmus Americana ), the timber of which is much used for hubs of wheels, and for other purposes. -- White ensign . See Saint George's ensign , under Saint . -- White feather , a mark or symbol of cowardice. See To show the white feather , under Feather , noun -- White fir (Botany) , a name given to several coniferous trees of the Pacific States, as Abies grandis , and A. concolor . -- White flesher (Zoology) , the ruffed grouse. See under Ruffed . [ Canada] -- White frost . See Hoarfrost . -- White game (Zoology) , the white ptarmigan. -- White garnet (Min.) , leucite. -- White grass (Botany) , an American grass ( Leersia Virginica ) with greenish-white paleæ. -- White grouse . (Zoology) (a) The white ptarmigan. (b) The prairie chicken. [ Local, U. S.] -- White grub (Zoology) , the larva of the June bug and other allied species. These grubs eat the roots of grasses and other plants, and often do much damage. -- White hake (Zoology) , the squirrel hake. See under Squirrel . -- White hawk , or kite (Zoology) , the hen harrier. -- White heat , the temperature at which bodies become incandescent, and appear white from the bright light which they emit. -- White hellebore (Botany) , a plant of the genus Veratrum ( V. album ) See Hellebore , 2. -- White herring , a fresh, or unsmoked, herring, as distinguished from a red , or cured , herring. [ R.] Shak. -- White hoolet (Zoology) , the barn owl. [ Prov. Eng.] -- White horses (Nautical) , white-topped waves; whitecaps. -- The White House . See under House . -- White ibis (Zoology) , an American ibis ( Guara alba ) having the plumage pure white, except the tips of the wings, which are black. It inhabits tropical America and the Southern United States. Called also Spanish curlew . -- White iron . (a) Thin sheets of iron coated with tin; tinned iron. (b) A hard, silvery-white cast iron containing a large proportion of combined carbon. -- White iron pyrites (Min.) , marcasite. -- White land , a tough clayey soil, of a whitish hue when dry, but blackish after rain. [ Eng.] -- White lark (Zoology) , the snow bunting. -- White lead . (a) A carbonate of lead much used in painting, and for other purposes; ceruse. (b) (Min.) Native lead carbonate; cerusite. -- White leather , buff leather; leather tanned with alum and salt. -- White leg (Medicine) , milk leg. See under Milk . -- White lettuce (Botany) , rattlesnake root. See under Rattlesnake . -- White lie . See under Lie . -- White light . (a) (Physics) Light having the different colors in the same proportion as in the light coming directly from the sun, without having been decomposed, as by passing through a prism. See the Note under Color , noun , 1. (b) A kind of firework which gives a brilliant white illumination for signals, etc. -- White lime , a solution or preparation of lime for whitewashing; whitewash. -- White line (Print.) , a void space of the breadth of a line, on a printed page; a blank line. -- White meat . (a) Any light-colored flesh, especially of poultry. (b) Food made from milk or eggs, as butter, cheese, etc.

Driving their cattle continually with them, and feeding only upon their milk and white meats .
Spenser.

-- White merganser (Zoology) , the smew. -- White metal . (a) Any one of several white alloys, as pewter, britannia, etc. (b) (Metal.) A fine grade of copper sulphide obtained at a certain stage in copper smelting. -- White miller . (Zoology) (a) The common clothes moth. (b) A common American bombycid moth ( Spilosoma Virginica ) which is pure white with a few small black spots; -- called also ermine moth , and virgin moth . See Woolly bear , under Woolly . -- White money , silver money. -- White mouse (Zoology) , the albino variety of the common mouse. -- White mullet (Zoology) , a silvery mullet ( Mugil curema ) ranging from the coast of the United States to Brazil; -- called also blue-back mullet , and liza . -- White nun (Zoology) , the smew; -- so called from the white crest and the band of black feathers on the back of its head, which give the appearance of a hood. -- White oak . (Botany) See under Oak . -- White owl . (Zoology) (a) The snowy owl. (b) The barn owl. -- White partridge (Zoology) , the white ptarmigan. -- White perch . (Zoology) (a) A North American fresh-water bass ( Morone Americana ) valued as a food fish. (b) The croaker, or fresh-water drum. (c) Any California surf fish. -- White pine . (Botany) See the Note under Pine . -- White poplar (Botany) , a European tree ( Populus alba ) often cultivated as a shade tree in America; abele. -- White poppy (Botany) , the opium-yielding poppy. See Poppy . -- White powder , a kind of gunpowder formerly believed to exist, and to have the power of exploding without noise. [ Obsolete]

A pistol charged with white powder .
Beau. & Fl.

-- White precipitate . (Old Chem.) See under Precipitate . -- White rabbit . (Zoology) (a) The American northern hare in its winter pelage. (b) An albino rabbit. -- White rent , (a) (Eng. Law) Formerly, rent payable in silver; -- opposed to black rent . See Blackmail , noun , 3. (b) A rent, or duty, of eight pence, payable yearly by every tinner in Devon and Cornwall to the Duke of Cornwall, as lord of the soil. [ Prov. Eng.] -- White rhinoceros . (Zoology) (a) The one-horned, or Indian, rhinoceros ( Rhinoceros Indicus ). See Rhinoceros . (b) The umhofo. -- White ribbon , the distinctive badge of certain organizations for the promotion of temperance or of moral purity; as, the White-ribbon Army. -- White rope (Nautical) , untarred hemp rope. -- White rot . (Botany) (a) Either of several plants, as marsh pennywort and butterwort, which were thought to produce the disease called rot in sheep. (b) A disease of grapes. See White rot , under Rot . -- White sage (Botany) , a white, woolly undershrub ( Eurotia lanata ) of Western North America; -- called also winter fat . -- White salmon (Zoology) , the silver salmon. -- White salt , salt dried and calcined; decrepitated salt. -- White scale (Zoology) , a scale insect ( Aspidiotus Nerii ) injurious to the orange tree. See Orange scale , under Orange . -- White shark (Zoology) , a species of man- eating shark. See under Shark . -- White softening . (Medicine) See Softening of the brain , under Softening . -- White spruce . (Botany) See Spruce , noun , 1. -- White squall (Nautical) , a sudden gust of wind, or furious blow, which comes up without being marked in its approach otherwise than by whitecaps, or white, broken water, on the surface of the sea. -- White staff , the badge of the lord high treasurer of England. Macaulay. -- White stork (Zoology) , the common European stork. -- White sturgeon . (Zoology) See Shovelnose (d) . -- White sucker . (Zoology) (a) The common sucker. (b) The common red horse ( Moxostoma macrolepidotum ). -- White swelling (Medicine) , a chronic swelling of the knee, produced by a strumous inflammation of the synovial membranes of the kneejoint and of the cancellar texture of the end of the bone forming the kneejoint; -- applied also to a lingering chronic swelling of almost any kind. -- White tombac . See Tombac . -- White trout (Zoology) , the white weakfish, or silver squeteague ( Cynoscion nothus ), of the Southern United States. -- White vitriol (Chemistry) , hydrous sulphate of zinc. See White vitriol , under Vitriol . -- White wagtail (Zoology) , the common, or pied, wagtail. -- White wax , beeswax rendered white by bleaching. -- White whale (Zoology) , the beluga. -- White widgeon (Zoology) , the smew. -- White wine . any wine of a clear, transparent color, bordering on white, as Madeira, sherry, Lisbon, etc.; -- distinguished from wines of a deep red color, as port and Burgundy. " White wine of Lepe." Chaucer. -- White witch , a witch or wizard whose supernatural powers are supposed to be exercised for good and beneficent purposes. Addison. Cotton Mather. -- White wolf . (Zoology) (a) A light-colored wolf ( Canis laniger ) native of Thibet; -- called also chanco , golden wolf , and Thibetan wolf . (b) The albino variety of the gray wolf. -- White wren (Zoology) , the willow warbler; - - so called from the color of the under parts.

White noun


1. The color of pure snow; one of the natural colors of bodies, yet not strictly a color, but a composition of all colors; the opposite of black; whiteness. See the Note under Color , noun , 1.

Finely attired in a of white .
Shak.

2. Something having the color of snow; something white, or nearly so; as, the white of the eye.

3. Specifically, the central part of the butt in archery, which was formerly painted white; the center of a mark at which a missile is shot.

'T was I won the wager, though you hit the white .
Shak.

4. A person with a white skin; a member of the white, or Caucasian, races of men.

5. A white pigment; as, Venice white .

6. (Zoology) Any one of numerous species of butterflies belonging to Pieris , and allied genera in which the color is usually white. See Cabbage butterfly , under Cabbage .

Black and white . See under Black . -- Flake white , Paris white , etc. See under Flack , Paris , etc. -- White of a seed (Botany) , the albumen. See Albumen , 2. -- White of egg , the viscous pellucid fluid which surrounds the yolk in an egg, particularly in the egg of a fowl. In a hen's egg it is alkaline, and contains about 86 per cent of water and 14 per cent of solid matter, the greater portion of which is egg albumin. It likewise contains a small amount of globulin, and traces of fats and sugar, with some inorganic matter. Heated above 60° C. it coagulates to a solid mass, owing to the albumin which it contains. Parr. -- White of the eye (Anat.) , the white part of the ball of the eye surrounding the transparent cornea.

White transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Whited ; present participle & verbal noun Whiting .] [ Anglo-Saxon hwītan .] To make white; to whiten; to whitewash; to bleach.

Whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of . . . uncleanness.
Matt. xxiii. 27.

So as no fuller on earth can white them.
Mark. ix. 3.

White elephant Something requiring much care and expense and yielding little profit; any burdensome possession. [ Slang]

White fly Any one of numerous small injurious hemipterous insects of the genus Aleyrodes , allied to scale insects. They are usually covered with a white or gray powder.

White friar (Eccl.) A mendicant monk of the Carmelite order, so called from the white cloaks worn by the order. See Carmelite .

White horse A large mass of tough sinewy substance in the head of sperm whales, just above the upper jaw and extending in streaks into the junk above it. It resembles blubber, but contains no oil. Also, the part of the head in which it occurs.

White list (a) A list of business concerns regarded as worthy of patronage by reason of compliance with certain conditions, as in regard to treatment of employees; as, the white list of the Consumers' League. [ Cant] (b) (New York Stock Exchange) The official list of all transactions, published daily on white paper, divided into sales from 10 to 12, 12 to 2, and 2 to 3.

White mustard A kind of mustard ( Sinapis alba ) with rough-hairy foliage, a long-beaked hispid pod, and pale seeds, which yield mustard and mustard oil. The plant is also grown for forage.

White person A person of the Caucasian race ( 6 Fed. Rep. 256 ). In the time of slavery in the United States white person was generally construed as a person without admixture of colored blood. In various statutes and decisions in different States since 1865 white person is construed as in effect: one not having any negro blood (Ark., Okla.); one having less than one eighth of negro blood (Ala., Fla., Ga., Ind., Ky., Md., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.C., S.C., Tenn., Tex.); one having less than one fourth (Mich., Neb., Ore., Va.); one having less than one half (Ohio).

White plague Tuberculosis, esp. of the lungs.

White slave A woman held in involuntary confinement for purposes of prostitution; loosely, any woman forced into unwilling prostitution.

White slaver A person engaged in procuring or holding a woman or women for unwilling prostitution.

White slaving The action of one who procures or holds a woman or women for unwilling prostitution.

White-blaze noun See White- face .

White-ear noun (Zoology) The wheatear.

White-eye noun (Zoology) Any one of several species of small Old World singing of the genus Zosterops , as Zosterops palpebrosus of India, and Z. cœrulescens of Australia. The eyes are encircled by a ring of white feathers, whence the name. Called also bush creeper , and white-eyed tit .

Whiteback noun (Zoology) The canvasback.

Whitebait noun (Zoology) (a) The young of several species of herrings, especially of the common herring, esteemed a great delicacy by epicures in England. (b) A small translucent fish ( Salanx Chinensis ) abundant at certain seasons on the coasts of China and Japan, and used in the same manner as the European whitebait.

Whitebeam noun (Botany) The common beam tree of England ( Pyrus Aria ); -- so called from the white, woolly under surface of the leaves.

Whitebeard noun An old man; a graybeard.

Whitebelly noun (Zoology) (a) The American widgeon, or baldpate. (b) The prairie chicken.

Whitebill noun (Zoology) The American coot.

Whiteblow noun (Botany) Same as Whitlow grass , under Whitlow .

Whiteboy noun
1. A favorite. [ Obsolete] See White , adjective , 6. "One of God's whiteboys ." Bunyan.

2. One of an association of poor Roman catholics which arose in Ireland about 1760, ostensibly to resist the collection of tithes, the members of which were so called from the white shirts they wore in their nocturnal raids.

Whiteboyism noun The conduct or principle of the Whiteboys.

Whitecap noun
1. (Zoology) (a) The European redstart; -- so called from its white forehead. (b) The whitethroat; -- so called from its gray head. (c) The European tree sparrow.

2. A wave whose crest breaks into white foam, as when the wind is freshening.

Whitecap noun A member of a self-appointed vigilance committee attempting by lynch-law methods to drive away or coerce persons obnoxious to it. Some early ones wore white hoods or masks. [ U. S.] -- White"cap` , v. -- White"cap`per noun

Whitecoat noun The skin of a newborn seal; also, the seal itself. [ Sealers' Cant]