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white-collar

[hwahyt-kol-er, wahyt-] /ˈʰwaɪtˈkɒl ər, ˈwaɪt-/
adjective
1.
belonging or pertaining to the ranks of office and professional workers whose jobs generally do not involve manual labor or the wearing of a uniform or work clothes.
noun
2.
a white-collar worker.
Compare blue-collar.
Origin of white-collar
1920-1925
1920-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for white-collar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I couldn't have been a lawyer or a clerk or a white-collar worker.

    The Lost Warship Robert Moore Williams
  • It was an office building for clerks and timekeepers and other white-collar workers.

    Space Platform Murray Leinster
  • But the white-collar ranks were teeming, overflowing, supersaturated.

    Gladiator Philip Wylie
  • The girl emerging from high school and looking for work is usually on the lookout for what in a boy we call a "white-collar job."

    Vocational Guidance for Girls Marguerite Stockman Dickson
  • He regarded it as a device of the exploiting classes to teach submission to their white-collar slaves.

    Jimmie Higgins Upton Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for white-collar

white-collar

adjective
1.
of, relating to, or designating nonmanual and usually salaried workers employed in professional and clerical occupations: white-collar union Compare blue-collar, pink-collar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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white-collar in Culture

white-collar definition


A descriptive term for office workers, who use a minimum of physical exertion, as opposed to blue-collar laborers. Managerial, clerical, and sales jobs are common white-collar occupations.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for white-collar

white bready

adj phr,adj

Conventional; bourgeois; plastic, square: Some of the sequences are Middle American. Evans calls them white bready/ two normal white bread all-American boys/ He taught them to give up the safe, white-bread types

[1980s+; fr the marketing fact that most Americans prefer soft, factory-baked white bread]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for white-collar

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for white

11
10
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