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Definition of White elephant

Babylon English

expensive investment that turns out to be useless and cannot be gotten rid of; object which is not needed, unnecessary item; species of elephant that is abnormally light in color, albinic Indian elephant
White elephant Definition from Language, Idioms & Slang Dictionaries & Glossaries
hEnglish - advanced version

white elephant
\white elephant\ something requiring much care and expense and yielding little profit; any burdensome possession. [slang]
white elephant
n
1. a valuable possession whose upkeep is excessively expensive
2. albinic indian elephant; rare and sometimes venerated in east asia
white elephant
(zo?l.), a whitish, or albino, variety of the asiatic elephant...
see white

ENGLISH IDIOMS 2.EDITION
a purchase that was not used, a useless object Should we take the statue of Stalin to the White Elephant Sale?
English Idioms WM 1.3a
a purchase that was not used, a useless object
Should we take the statue of Stalin to the White Elephant Sale?
GLOSSARY OF ESOTERIC WORDS
1. A possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose of.
2. A possession entailing great expense out of proportion to its usefulness or value to the owner.
3. An abnormally whitish or pale elephant, usually found in Thailand;an albino elephant.
EG:Now an orchestra opening a new hall has reason to pray, solemnly and at length, that it will not be saddled with a white elephant with mediocre acoustics."
Allan Kozinn, A Venerable Concert Hall That's the Belle of the Ball,The New York Times, Sep 30, 2000.



WordNet 2.0

Noun
1. a valuable possession whose upkeep is excessively expensive
(hypernym) possession
2. albinic Indian elephant; rare and sometimes venerated in east Asia
(hypernym) Indian elephant, Elephas maximus
White elephant Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
Wikipedia English - The Free Encyclopedia
A white elephant is an idiom for a valuable but burdensome possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth. The term derives from the story that the kings of Siam (now Thailand) were accustomed to make a present of one of these animals to courtiers who had rendered themselves obnoxious, in order to ruin the recipient by the cost of its maintenance. In modern usage, it is an object, scheme, business venture, facility, etc., considered without use or value.

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