from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Mediterranean evergreen tree (Olea europaea) having fragrant white flowers, usually lance-shaped leathery leaves, and edible drupes.
  • n. The small ovoid fruit of this tree, an important food and source of oil.
  • n. A yellow green of low to medium lightness and low to moderate saturation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An evergreen tree, Olea europaea, cultivated since ancient times in the Mediterranean for its fruit and the oil obtained from it.
  • n. The small oval fruit of this tree, eaten ripe (usually black) or unripe (usually green).
  • n. The wood of the olive tree.
  • n. A dark yellowish-green color, that of an unripe olive.
  • n. An olivary body, part of the medulla oblongata.
  • n. A component of a plumbing compression joint; a ring which is placed between the nut and the pipe and compressed during fastening to provide a seal.
  • adj. Of a grayish green color, that of an unripe olive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Approaching the color of the olive; of a peculiar dark brownish, yellowish, or tawny green.
  • n.
  • n. A tree (Olea Europæa) 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n.
  • n. Any shell of the genus Oliva and allied genera; -- so called from the form. See Oliva.
  • n. The oyster catcher.
  • n.
  • n. The color of the olive, a peculiar dark brownish, yellowish, or tawny green.
  • n. One of the tertiary colors, composed of violet and green mixed in equal strength and proportion.
  • n. An olivary body. See under Olivary.
  • n. A small slice of meat seasoned, rolled up, and cooked.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The oil-tree, Olea Europæa, cultivated from the earliest times in Syria and Palestine, and thence in remote antiquity distributed throughout the whole Mediterranean region: in recent times it has been successfully planted in Australia, southern California, and elsewhere.
  • n. The fruit of the common olive-tree, a small ellipsoid drupe (the “berry”), bluish-black in color when fully ripe.
  • n. A tree of some other species of Olea, or of some other genus resembling the olive. See Olea, and phrases below.
  • n. The color of the unripe olive; a color composed of yellow, black, red, and white in such proportions as to form a low-toned dull green, slightly yellow.
  • n. Same as oliva, 1.
  • n. A perforated plate in the strap of a satchel or traveling-bag, through which the stud or button passes to fasten it.
  • n. A long oval button over which loops of braid are passed as a fastening for cloaks, etc.
  • n. In anatomy, the olivary body of the medulla oblongata.
  • n. In conchology, an olive-shell.
  • n. In ornithology, the oyster-catcher, Hæmatopus ostrilegus.
  • n. One of various trees of other genera: in Europe, Elæagnus angustifolia, Rhus Cotinus, and Thymelæa Sanamunda (Daphne Thymelæa); in the West Indies, Bontia daphnoides, Ximenia Americana, Terminalia Buceras, and T. capitata; in India, Putranjiva Roxburghii.
  • Relating to the olive; of the color of the unripe olive; olivaceous; of a dull, somewhat yellowish green: also, of the color of the olive-tree, which in general effect is of a dull ashen-green, with distinctly silvery shading.
  • n. Elæocarpus cyaneus. Compare olive-nut.
  • n. Notelæa ovata. See dunga-runga and Notelæa.
  • n. The Queensland olive, Olea paniculata. See marblewood, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. evergreen tree cultivated in the Mediterranean region since antiquity and now elsewhere; has edible shiny black fruits
  • n. one-seeded fruit of the European olive tree usually pickled and used as a relish
  • n. hard yellow often variegated wood of an olive tree; used in cabinetwork
  • n. a yellow-green color of low brightness and saturation
  • n. small ovoid fruit of the European olive tree; important food and source of oil
  • adj. of a yellow-green color similar to that of an unripe olive


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Latin olīva, from Greek *elaiwā, elaiā.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French olive ("olive, olive tree"), from Latin olīva ("olive"), from Ancient Greek ἐλαία (elaía), from Proto-Indo-European *loiu̯om (compare Old Church Slavonic lojŭ ("tallow"), Old Armenian եւղ (ewł, "oil")).


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  • I think this is the most beautiful word. Olive.

    January 11, 2007