white elephant

(redirected from white)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

White Elephant

An investment, especially in real estate, that is expensive, unprofitable, and difficult to sell. An example is a house that is overbuilt for its neighborhood. A white elephant is perhaps one of least desirable investments possible.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

white elephant

Like the legendary white elephants of India, a property that is expensive to maintain, doesn't return any particular value, and can't realistically be sold to anyone else.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in classic literature ?
I am still alive.' It is a white man's soldier-boat with many soldier men upon it.
Also have I asked the white men, and they have said yes, there is no snow in that country.
"But after that they give him much better grub, and they give him money, and they take him many places in white man's country, and he see many strange things which are beyond the understanding of Ebbits, who is an old man and has not journeyed far.
White Fang had never seen dogs before, but at sight of them he felt that they were his own kind, only somehow different.
White Fang, in the very nature of him, could never know anything about gods; at the best he could know only things that were beyond knowing--but the wonder and awe that he had of these man-animals in ways resembled what would be the wonder and awe of man at sight of some celestial creature, on a mountain top, hurling thunderbolts from either hand at an astonished world.
And White Fang licked his hurts and meditated upon this, his first taste of pack-cruelty and his introduction to the pack.
Port Adams was now three years and a half away, so he stole a canoe one night, hid on the islets in Manning Straits, passed through the Straits, and began working along the eastern coast of Ysabel, only to be captured, two-thirds of the way along, by the white men on Meringe Lagoon.
Not even a white missionary has landed on its shore.
"I am not as this other white man," replied Tarzan.
"Was there a little white child with him?" asked Tarzan, his heart almost stopped as he awaited the black's answer.
In the grass-thatched barracks nearly two hundred woolly-headed man-eaters slept off the weariness of the day's toil, though several lifted their heads to listen to the curses of one who cursed the white man who never slept.
As the white man drew closer he could hear a low and continuous moaning and groaning.