• synonyms


  1. any of several varieties of light-green plums, as Prunus insititia italica.
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Origin of greengage

1715–25; green + Gage, after Sir William Gage, 18th-century English botanist who introduced such varieties from France circa 1725
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for greengage

Historical Examples

  • I have reared fine specimens from caterpillars which fed on greengage.

    The Butterflies of the British Isles

    Richard South

  • So the two of them bit bites out of every greengage they could reach.

  • Red jam is usually preferred, but greengage is also popular.

  • The stalks are bladders about the size of a greengage, which enable the plant to float.

  • Speaking of the greengage, he says, "its taste is so exquisitely sweet and delicious, that nothing can exceed it."

British Dictionary definitions for greengage


  1. a cultivated variety of plum tree, Prunus domestica italica, with edible green plumlike fruits
  2. the fruit of this tree
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Word Origin

C18: green + -gage, after Sir W. Gage (1777–1864), English botanist who brought it from France
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for greengage

from green + name of English botanist Sir William Gage (1657-1727) who first cultivated it in England c.1725.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper