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Ivory vs. White: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Ivory is a creamy, off-white color, resembling the material from elephant tusks, while White is a pure, bright color without any hues.
Ivory vs. White

Key Differences

Ivory is a subtle, creamy hue often compared to the color of elephant tusks, evoking a sense of warmth and softness. In contrast, White is a stark, bright color representing purity and cleanliness, often associated with a clinical or crisp aesthetic.
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In design and fashion, Ivory is preferred for its gentle warmth, making it ideal for creating a cozy, inviting atmosphere. White, on the other hand, is chosen for its ability to reflect light and create a sense of space and minimalism.
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When it comes to symbolism, Ivory often connotes luxury and status, derived from its association with the precious material. White symbolizes simplicity and peace, often used in contexts that require a sense of clarity and purity.
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In cultural contexts, Ivory can sometimes carry negative connotations due to its association with illegal ivory trade. White, however, is seen in various cultures as a color of mourning or celebration, depending on the context.
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Ivory, being closer to natural tones, is considered more forgiving and versatile in interior design compared to White, which can sometimes be too stark or overwhelming in large amounts.
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Comparison Chart

Hue

Off-white, creamy
Pure, bright, no hues
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Symbolism

Luxury, warmth
Purity, simplicity
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Fashion Preference

Soft, warm tones for elegance
Sharp, clean lines for modernity
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Cultural Context

Sometimes negative (ivory trade)
Varies (mourning or celebration)
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Design Use

Versatile, natural look
Minimalistic, creates sense of space
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Ivory and White Definitions

Ivory

A color resembling ivory in hue, a warm off-white.
She chose an ivory dress for her wedding to complement the vintage theme.
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White

The color of pure snow or milk, the opposite of black.
The room was painted white to create a sense of spaciousness.
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Ivory

A hard, creamy-white substance composing the main part of the tusks of an elephant.
The antique piano had keys made of genuine ivory.
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White

The achromatic color of maximum lightness; the color of objects that reflect nearly all light of all visible wavelengths; the complement or antagonist of black, the other extreme of the neutral gray series. Although typically a response to maximum stimulation of the retina, the perception of white appears always to depend on contrast.
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Ivory

A hard, smooth, yellowish-white substance composed primarily of dentin that forms the tusks of the elephant.
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White

The albumen of an egg.
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Ivory

A similar substance forming the tusks or teeth of certain other mammals, such as the walrus.
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White

The white part of an eyeball.
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Ivory

A tusk, especially an elephant's tusk.
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White

A blank or unprinted area, as of an advertisement.
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Ivory

An article made of ivory.
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White

Whites Pieces of laundry having a white or nearly white color.
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Ivory

A substance resembling ivory.
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White

Whites White pants or a white outfit of a special nature
Tennis whites.
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Ivory

A pale or grayish yellow to yellowish white.
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White

Whites The white dress uniform of the US Navy or Coast Guard.
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Ivory

(Music) Piano keys.
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White

A white wine.
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Ivory

(Games) Dice.
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White

A white pigment.
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Ivory

(Slang) The teeth.
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White

A white breed, species, or variety of animal.
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Ivory

Composed or constructed of ivory.
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White

Any of various butterflies of the subfamily Pierinae, characteristically having chiefly white wings often with black markings.
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Ivory

Of a pale or grayish yellow to yellowish white.
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White

Also White A member of a racial group having light-colored skin, especially when of European origin and in some classifications also when of Middle Eastern or North African origin.
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Ivory

(uncountable) The hard white form of dentin which forms the tusks of elephants, walruses and other animals.
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White

Often whites Products of a white color, such as flour, salt, and sugar.
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Ivory

A creamy white color, the color of ivory.
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White

The white or light-colored pieces, as in chess.
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Ivory

Something made from or resembling ivory.
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White

The player using these pieces.
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Ivory

The teeth.
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White

The outermost ring of an archery target.
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Ivory

The keys of a piano.
To tickle the ivories
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White

A hit in this ring.
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Ivory

(slang) A white person.
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White

Whites(Medicine) Leukorrhea.
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Ivory

(informal) A die object bearing numbers, thrown in games of chance.
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White

White A member of a conservative or counterrevolutionary faction, especially one opposing the Bolsheviks in the Russian civil war.
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Ivory

Made of ivory.
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White

Being of the color white; devoid of hue, as new snow.
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Ivory

Resembling or having the colour of ivory.
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White

Weakly colored; almost colorless; pale
White wine.
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Ivory

The hard, white, opaque, fine-grained substance constituting the tusks of the elephant. It is a variety of dentine, characterized by the minuteness and close arrangement of the tubes, as also by their double flexure. It is used in manufacturing articles of ornament or utility.
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White

Pale gray; silvery and lustrous
White hair.
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Ivory

The tusks themselves of the elephant, etc.
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White

Bloodless; blanched.
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Ivory

Any carving executed in ivory.
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White

Light or whitish in color or having light or whitish parts. Used with animal and plant names.
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Ivory

Teeth; as, to show one's ivories.
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White

Also White Of or belonging to a racial group of people having light-colored skin, especially when of European origin, and in some classifications also when of Middle Eastern or North African origin
Voting patterns within the white population.
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Ivory

A hard smooth ivory colored dentine that makes up most of the tusks of elephants and walruses
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White

Habited in white
White nuns.
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Ivory

A shade of white the color of bleached bones
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White

Accompanied by or mantled with snow
A white Christmas.
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Ivory

Items made from or resembling ivory.
The museum showcased an exquisite collection of ivory carvings.
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White

Incandescent
White flames.
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Ivory

(Metaphorically) Something precious and rare.
Her grandmother's ivory necklace was her most cherished possession.
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White

Intensely heated; impassioned
White with fury.
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Ivory

Relating to the ivory trade.
There are strict regulations against ivory trading to protect elephants.
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White

White Of or relating to a conservative or counterrevolutionary faction, especially one opposing the Bolsheviks in the Russian civil war.
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White

With milk added. Used of tea or coffee.
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White

(Archaic) Unsullied; pure.
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White

(Printing) To cover or make illegible with white coloring. Often used with out.
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White

Bright and colourless; reflecting equal quantities of all frequencies of visible light.
Write in black ink on white paper.
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White

(sometimes capitalized) Of or relating to Caucasians, people of European descent with light-coloured skin.
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White

Designated for use by Caucasians.
White drinking fountain
White hospital
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White

Relatively light or pale in colour.
White wine
White grapes
White birch
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White

Pale or pallid, as from fear, illness, etc.
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White

Lacking coloration (tan) from ultraviolet light; not tanned.
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White

Affected by leucism.
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White

(of coffee or tea) Containing cream, milk, or creamer.
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White

The standard denomination of the playing pieces of a board game deemed to belong to the white set, no matter what the actual colour.
The white pieces in this set are in fact made of light green glass.
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White

Pertaining to an ecclesiastical order whose adherents dress in white habits; Cistercian.
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White

Honourable, fair; decent.
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White

Grey, as from old age; having silvery hair; hoary.
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White

(archaic) Characterized by freedom from that which disturbs, and the like; fortunate; happy; favourable.
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White

(obsolete) Regarded with especial favour; favourite; darling.
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White

(politics) Pertaining to constitutional or anti-revolutionary political parties or movements.
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White

(of tea) Made from immature leaves and shoots.
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White

(typography) Not containing characters; see white space.
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White

(typography) Said of a symbol or character outline, not solid, not filled with color. Compare said of a character or symbol filled with color.
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White

Characterised by the presence of snow.
A white Christmas
A white Easter
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White

(of a set of armor) Alwhite, pertaining to white armor.
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White

The color/colour of snow or milk; the colour of light containing equal amounts of all visible wavelengths.
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White

A person of European descent with light-coloured skin.
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White

Any butterfly of the subfamily Pierinae in the family Pieridae.
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White

White wine.
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White

White coffee
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White

(countable) Any object or substance that is of the color white.
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White

The albumen of bird eggs (egg white).
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White

(anatomy) The sclera, white of the eye.
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White

The cue ball in cue games.
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White

Cocaine
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White

The snow- or ice-covered "green" in snow golf.
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White

A white pigment.
Venice white
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White

A white bean
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White

(archery) The central part of the butt, which was formerly painted white; the centre of a mark at which a missile is shot.
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White

The enclosed part of a letter of the alphabet, especially when handwritten.
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White

A feather, from the wing of the cock ostrich, that is of the palest possible shade.
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White

(transitive) To make white; to whiten; to bleach.
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White

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.
White as the whitest lily on a stream.
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White

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!"
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White

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.
No whiter page than Addison's remains.
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White

Gray, as from age; having silvery hair; hoary.
Your high engendered battles 'gainst a headSo old and white as this.
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White

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.
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White

Regarded with especial favor; favorite; darling.
Come forth, my white spouse.
I am his white boy, and will not be gullet.
Driving their cattle continually with them, and feeding only upon their milk and white meats.
A pistol charged with white powder.
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White

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

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.
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White

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

A white pigment; as, Venice white.
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White

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.
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White

To make white; to whiten; to whitewash; to bleach.
Whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of . . . uncleanness.
So as no fuller on earth can white them.
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White

A member of the Caucasoid race
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White

The quality or state of the achromatic color of greatest lightness (bearing the least resemblance to black)
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White

Australian writer (1912-1990)
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White

United States political journalist (1915-1986)
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White

United States architect (1853-1906)
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White

United States writer noted for his humorous essays (1899-1985)
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White

United States educator who in 1865 (with Ezra Cornell) founded Cornell University and served as its first president (1832-1918)
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White

A tributary of the Mississippi River that flows southeastward through northern Arkansas and southern Missouri
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White

(board games) the lighter pieces
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White

(usually in the plural) trousers
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White

Turn white;
This detergent will whiten your laundry
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White

Being of the achromatic color of maximum lightness; having little or no hue owing to reflection of almost all incident light;
As white as fresh snow
A bride's white dress
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White

Of or belonging to a racial group having light skin coloration;
Voting patterns within the white population
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White

Free from moral blemish or impurity; unsullied;
In shining white armor
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White

Marked by the presence of snow;
A white Christmas
The white hills of a northern winter
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White

Restricted to whites only;
Under segregation there were even white restrooms and white drinking fountains
A lily-white movement which would expel Negroes from the organization
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White

Glowing white with heat;
White flames
A white-hot center of the fire
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White

Benevolent; without malicious intent;
White magic
A white lie
That's white of you
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White

Of a surface; not written or printed on;
Blank pages
Fill in the blank spaces
A clean page
Wide white margins
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White

(of coffee) having cream or milk added
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White

Dressed (or especially habited) in white;
White nuns
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White

(of hair) having lost its color;
The white hairs of old age
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White

Ash-colored or anemic looking from illness or emotion;
A face turned ashen
The invalid's blanched cheeks
Tried to speak with bloodless lips
A face livid with shock
Lips...livid with the hue of death
Lips white with terror
A face white with rage
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White

Of summer nights in northern latitudes where the sun barely sets;
White nights
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White

Something that is of the color white.
She wore a beautiful white dress to the gala.
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White

Characterized by the absence of color.
The artist used a white canvas as the foundation for his colorful painting.
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White

(Metaphorically) Representing purity or innocence.
The white dove is often seen as a symbol of peace.
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White

Relating to a group or race characterized by light skin.
The census data included information on the white population of the region.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is white often used in modern design?

Yes, white is popular in modern and minimalistic design schemes.
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What is the primary difference between ivory and white?

Ivory is a creamy off-white color, while white is a pure, bright color.
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Does the color ivory have negative connotations?

In some contexts, due to its association with the ivory trade, it can.
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Is white a neutral color?

Yes, white is considered a neutral color in design and fashion.
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Can ivory be considered a shade of white?

Yes, ivory is often seen as a warmer, softer shade of white.
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Is ivory a good choice for a wedding dress?

Yes, many choose ivory for its warm and elegant hue.
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Can ivory add warmth to a room's design?

Yes, its creamy hue can create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
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Is white easy to maintain in clothing and interiors?

It can be challenging as it shows dirt and stains more easily.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Are there ethical concerns associated with ivory?

Yes, due to the illegal ivory trade and its impact on elephant populations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Can ivory and white be used interchangeably in fashion?

While similar, they create different aesthetic effects and are not always interchangeable.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Does white symbolize purity in all cultures?

In many cultures, yes, but it can also symbolize mourning in some.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Is white a common color in nature?

Yes, it's found in things like snow, milk, and certain flowers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Do ivory and white reflect light similarly?

White reflects more light, making spaces appear larger and brighter.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Is white a popular choice for formal occasions?

Yes, especially in Western cultures for events like weddings.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Is white considered a cold color in design?

It can be, especially if used in large amounts without warm accents.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Do ivory and white have the same brightness?

No, white is brighter and more reflective than ivory.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Can both ivory and white be used in all design styles?

They are versatile but may suit different styles better; ivory for traditional and white for modern.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Does ivory work well with other colors?

Yes, it pairs well with many colors, especially earth tones.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Is white a timeless color in fashion?

Yes, it is considered a classic and versatile color in fashion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Can ivory be synthetic?

Yes, there are synthetic materials made to resemble ivory.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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