See more synonyms for greenhorn on
  1. an untrained or inexperienced person.
  2. a naive or gullible person; someone who is easily tricked or swindled.
  3. Slang. a newly arrived immigrant; newcomer.

Origin of greenhorn

1425–75; late Middle English; see green, horn; orig. applied to cattle with green (i.e., young) horns
Related formsgreen·horn·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for greenhorn

Historical Examples of greenhorn

British Dictionary definitions for greenhorn


  1. an inexperienced person, esp one who is extremely gullible
  2. mainly US a newcomer or immigrant

Word Origin for greenhorn

C17: originally an animal with green (that is, young) horns
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 greenhorn

mid-15c., "young horned animal," from green (adj.) in sense of "new, fresh, recent" + horn (n.). Applied to new soldiers from c.1650; extended to any inexperienced person by 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper