Olive branch
Olive Ol"ive, n. [F., fr. L. oliva, akin to Gr. ?. See {Oil}.] 1. (Bot.) (a) A tree ({Olea Europ[ae]a}) with small oblong or elliptical leaves, axillary clusters of flowers, and oval, one-seeded drupes. The tree has been cultivated for its fruit for thousands of years, and its branches are the emblems of peace. The wood is yellowish brown and beautifully variegated. (b) The fruit of the olive. It has been much improved by cultivation, and is used for making pickles. Olive oil is pressed from its flesh. [1913 Webster]

2. (Zo["o]l.) (a) Any shell of the genus {Oliva} and allied genera; -- so called from the form. See {Oliva}. (b) The oyster catcher. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster]

3. (a) The color of the olive, a peculiar dark brownish, yellowish, or tawny green. (b) One of the tertiary colors, composed of violet and green mixed in equal strength and proportion. [1913 Webster]

4. (Anat.) An olivary body. See under {Olivary}. [1913 Webster]

5. (Cookery) A small slice of meat seasoned, rolled up, and cooked; as, olives of beef or veal. [1913 Webster]

Note: Olive is sometimes used adjectively and in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, olive brown, olive green, olive-colored, olive-skinned, olive crown, olive garden, olive tree, olive yard, etc. [1913 Webster]

{Bohemian olive} (Bot.), a species of {El[ae]agnus} ({El[ae]agnus angustifolia}), the flowers of which are sometimes used in Southern Europe as a remedy for fevers.

{Olive branch}. (a) A branch of the olive tree, considered an emblem of peace. (b) (Fig.): A child.

{to hold out an olive branch}, to offer to make peace (with a rival or enemy).

{Olive brown}, brown with a tinge of green.

{Olive green}, a dark brownish green, like the color of the olive.

{Olive oil}, an oil expressed from the ripe fruit of the olive, and much used as a salad oil, also in medicine and the arts.

{Olive ore} (Min.), olivenite.

{Wild olive} (Bot.), a name given to the oleaster or wild stock of the olive; also variously to several trees more or less resembling the olive. [1913 Webster +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • olive branch — olive ,branch noun singular something that someone does in order to show that they want to stop arguing. The olive branch is often used as a sign meaning peace: extend an olive branch: He extended an olive branch to community leaders by offering… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • olive branch — olive branches also olive branch N COUNT: usu sing If you offer an olive branch to someone, you say or do something in order to show that you want to end a disagreement or quarrel. Clarke also offered an olive branch to critics in his party …   English dictionary

  • Olive Branch — Olive Branch, MS U.S. city in Mississippi Population (2000): 21054 Housing Units (2000): 7935 Land area (2000): 36.193733 sq. miles (93.741334 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.086148 sq. miles (0.223122 sq. km) Total area (2000): 36.279881 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • olive branch — If you hold out or offer an olive branch, you make a gesture to indicate that you want peace …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • olive branch — ► NOUN ▪ an offer of reconciliation. ORIGIN in allusion to the story of Noah in the Book of Genesis, in which a dove returns with an olive branch after the Flood …   English terms dictionary

  • olive branch — n. 1. the branch of the olive tree, traditionally a symbol of peace 2. any peace offering …   English World dictionary

  • Olive branch — For other uses, see Olive branch (disambiguation). An olive branch The olive branch in Western culture, derived from the customs of Ancient Greece, symbolizes peace or victory and was worn by brides. Contents …   Wikipedia

  • olive branch — /ˈɒləv bræntʃ / (say oluhv branch) noun 1. a branch of the olive tree (an emblem of peace). 2. anything offered in token of peace: *Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter s gun. –blanche d alpuget, 1982. 3. World War I… …   Australian English dictionary

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