not all black and white

not (all) black and white

Not clearly defined or differentiated; having room for confusion, ambiguity, or discrepancy. Love isn't black and white, you know. You have to accept that there are many gray areas in any relationship. The court's decision validates the defendant's assertion that the law is not all black and white, that it can be interpreted differently depending on how it is applied.
See also: and, black, not, white
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not all black and white

Not clearly distinguished, not all bad or good: for example, “John warned us that this controversy was not all black and white; both sides were partly in the wrong.” This expression is based on the identification of black with evil or wrong, and white with good or right, which goes back at least two millennia.
See also: all, and, black, not, white
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Clearly outlining the various tensions surrounding the debate, Not All Black and White succeeds in its effort to show affirmative action as a complex issue with strong arguments on both sides.
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