to hold out an 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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hold out an olive branch — hold out/offer an olive branch to do or say something in order to show that you want to end a disagreement with someone. He held out an olive branch to the opposition by releasing 42 political prisoners. (often + to) …   New idioms dictionary

  • an olive branch — hold out/offer an olive branch to do or say something in order to show that you want to end a disagreement with someone. I ve invited them around to dinner by way of an olive branch …   New idioms dictionary

  • offer an olive branch — hold out/offer an olive branch to do or say something in order to show that you want to end a disagreement with someone. He held out an olive branch to the opposition by releasing 42 political prisoners. (often + to) …   New idioms dictionary

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • olive branch —    If you hold out or offer an olive branch, you make a gesture to indicate that you want peace.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    If a person or organization holds out an olive branch to another, they show that they want to end a… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • 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 —   If you hold out or offer an olive branch, you make a gesture to indicate that you want peace …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Olive brown — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Olive green — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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