White Elephant

Rate this phrase:(0.00 / 0 votes)
A useless object, an expensive but useless possession

Etymology:

  • There is an old saying in ancient Siam, now known as Thailand, that a king gave white elephant as a gift to someone he didn’t like. The white elephant are very rare and are considered priceless but they are not used for any work and require a fortune to feed them. The courier who received the gift in well wish was unable to get rid of the elephant as it was a gift but the cost of the elephant ruined that person. The expression originated in the English language in the 19th century and represents something that is very expensive but useless for the owner.
2 Views

To decorate the house, you must sell all those white elephants.

Submitted on February 25, 2019

Additional definitions for 'White Elephant':

white elephantAn albino elephant.
white elephantAn ornament etc that is unwanted or is a financial burden; an unprofitable investment.
See them all »

Translation

Find a translation for the White Elephant phrase in other languages:

سفید ہاتھی

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similiar to White Elephant

Discuss this White Elephant phrase with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this White Elephant definition to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"White Elephant." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 16 Jul 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/white-elephant_45134>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest human-edited phrases collection on the web!

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.