from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The temperature or physical condition of a white-hot substance.
- n. Intense emotion or excitement: working at white heat to make the deadline.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. the temperature at which bodies become incandescent, and appear white from the bright light which they emit.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the hotness of something heated until it turns white
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Whenever AEschylus, Dante, Shakspere, Milton, are at white heat they require no exposition, but meditation only ” the meditation akin to the sentiment of little children who listen, intent upon every syllable, and passionately eager of soul, to hearth-side tragedies.
Warm words were passing between Thomas and Blanc, when suddenly Moore grasped the heated poker ” the end in the fire being at white heat ” and calling to Thomas with a stentorian voice, “General Thomas! you take that white-headed French scoundrel, and I'll take blue-nose,” and, brandishing his hot poker over his head, he charged, as with the bayonet, pointing the poker at the stomach of Raphignac.
And next day Martin Eden cast hack-work aside, and at white heat hammered out an essay to which he gave the title, "The Philosophy of Illusion."
Cara bent her head and riffled through the crumbly yellowed pages in a white heat of embarrassment.
The work was undoubtedly written at a white heat of inspiration, for at the time MacDowell was not only grieved over the death of his old master and friend, Joachim Raff, but was also harrassed by the drudgery and struggle of his own existence.