greenhorn

[green-hawrn]
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noun
  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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for greenhorn

greenhorn

noun
  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
n.

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