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The Collaborative International Dictionary
to hold out an olive branch

Olive \Ol"ive\, n. [F., fr. L. oliva, akin to Gr. ?. See Oil.]

  1. (Bot.)

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  2. (Zo["o]l.)

    1. Any shell of the genus Oliva and allied genera; -- so called from the form. See Oliva.

    2. The oyster catcher. [Prov. Eng.]

    1. The color of the olive, a peculiar dark brownish, yellowish, or tawny green.

    2. One of the tertiary colors, composed of violet and green mixed in equal strength and proportion.

  3. (Anat.) An olivary body. See under Olivary.

  4. (Cookery) A small slice of meat seasoned, rolled up, and cooked; as, olives of beef or veal. 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. 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.

    1. A branch of the olive tree, considered an emblem of peace.

    2. (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.