any variety of apple whose skin is green when ripe.
the return or revival of youthful characteristics: the greening of America.

Origin of greening

First recorded in 1590–1600; green + -ing1



adjective, green·er, green·est.

of the color of growing foliage, between yellow and blue in the spectrum: green leaves.
covered with herbage or foliage; verdant: green fields.
characterized by the presence of verdure.
made of green vegetables, as lettuce, spinach, endive, or chicory: a green salad.
not fully developed or perfected in growth or condition; unripe; not properly aged: This peach is still green.
unseasoned; not dried or cured: green lumber.
immature in age or judgment; untrained; inexperienced: a green worker.
simple; unsophisticated; gullible; easily fooled.
fresh, recent, or new: an insult still green in his mind.
having a sickly appearance; pale; wan: green with fear; green with envy.
full of life and vigor; young: a man ripe in years but green in heart.
environmentally sound or beneficial: green computers.
(of wine) having a flavor that is raw, harsh, and acid, due especially to a lack of maturity.
freshly slaughtered or still raw: green meat.
not fired, as bricks or pottery.
(of cement or mortar) freshly set and not completely hardened.
  1. (of sand) sufficiently moist to form a compact lining for a mold without further treatment.
  2. (of a casting) as it comes from the mold.
  3. (of a powder, in powder metallurgy) unsintered.


a color intermediate in the spectrum between yellow and blue, an effect of light with a wavelength between 500 and 570 nm; found in nature as the color of most grasses and leaves while growing, of some fruits while ripening, and of the sea.
Art. a secondary color that has been formed by the mixture of blue and yellow pigments.
green coloring matter, as paint or dye.
green material or clothing: to be dressed in green.
  1. fresh leaves or branches of trees, shrubs, etc., used for decoration; wreaths.
  2. the leaves and stems of plants, as spinach, lettuce, or cabbage, used for food.
  3. a blue-green uniform of the U.S. Army.
grassy land; a plot of grassy ground.
a piece of grassy ground constituting a town or village common.
Also called putting green. Golf. the area of closely cropped grass surrounding each hole.
a shooting range for archery.
Informal. green light(def 1).
Slang. money; greenbacks (usually preceded by the): I'd like to buy a new car but I don't have the green.
(initial capital letter) a member of the Green party (in Germany).

verb (used with or without object)

to become or make green.
Informal. to restore the vitality of: Younger executives are greening corporate managements.

Origin of green

before 900; Middle English, Old English grēne; cognate with German grün; akin to grow
Related formsgreen·age, noungreen·ly, adverbnon·green, adjectiveout·green, verb (used with object)un·greened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for greening

Contemporary Examples of greening

Historical Examples of greening

  • In the first place, the letter you sent me signed 'Greening' was clearly a forgery.

    The Double Four

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • It was spring, the time of greening ranges and the coming of new calves.

  • I loved the greening of Nature, and the yellowing of her harvest.

    The Love Story of Abner Stone

    Edwin Carlile Litsey

  • After greening the cucumbers, put them in plain vinegar for a few days.

    Housekeeping in Old Virginia

    Marion Cabell Tyree

  • In the time of the greening, even the Korrigans are unseen of walkers in the dusk.

    Green Fire

    Fiona Macleod

British Dictionary definitions for greening



the process of making or becoming more aware of environmental considerations

Word Origin for greening

C20: from green (sense 13)



any of a group of colours, such as that of fresh grass, that lie between yellow and blue in the visible spectrum in the wavelength range 575–500 nanometres. Green is the complementary colour of magenta and with red and blue forms a set of primary coloursRelated adjective: verdant
a dye or pigment of or producing these colours
something of the colour green
a small area of grassland, esp in the centre of a village
an area of ground used for a purposea putting green
  1. the edible leaves and stems of certain plants, eaten as a vegetable
  2. freshly cut branches of ornamental trees, shrubs, etc, used as a decoration
(sometimes capital) a person, esp a politician, who supports environmentalist issues (see sense 13)
slang money
slang marijuana of low quality
(plural) slang sexual intercourse


of the colour green
greenish in colour or having parts or marks that are greenisha green monkey
(sometimes capital) concerned with or relating to conservation of the world's natural resources and improvement of the environmentgreen policies; the green consumer
vigorous; not fadeda green old age
envious or jealous
immature, unsophisticated, or gullible
characterized by foliage or green plantsa green wood; a green salad
fresh, raw, or unripegreen bananas
unhealthily pale in appearancehe was green after his boat trip
denoting a unit of account that is adjusted in accordance with fluctuations between the currencies of the EU nations and is used to make payments to agricultural producers within the EUgreen pound
(of pottery) not fired
(of meat) not smoked or cured; unprocessedgreen bacon
metallurgy (of a product, such as a sand mould or cermet) compacted but not yet fired; ready for firing
(of timber) freshly felled; not dried or seasoned
(of concrete) not having matured to design strength


to make or become green
Derived Formsgreenish, adjectivegreenly, adverbgreenness, noungreeny, adjective

Word Origin for green

Old English grēne; related to Old High German gruoni; see grow



Henry, real name Henry Vincent Yorke . 1905–73, British novelist: author of Living (1929), Loving (1945), and Back (1946)
John Richard. 1837–83, British historian; author of A Short History of the English People (1874)
T (homas) H (ill). 1836–82, British idealist philosopher. His chief work, Prolegomena to Ethics, was unfinished at his death
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 greening


n., adj.

Old English grene "green, young, immature, raw," earlier groeni, from West Germanic *gronja- (cf. Old Saxon grani, Old Frisian grene, Old Norse grænn, Danish grøn, Dutch groen, Old High German gruoni, German grün), from PIE root *ghre- "grow" (see grass), through sense of "color of living plants."

Meaning "a field, grassy place" was in Old English. Sense of "of tender age, youthful" is from early 15c.; hence "gullible" (c.1600). The color of jealousy at least since Shakespeare (1596); "Greensleeves," ballad of an inconstant lady-love, is from 1570s. Green light in figurative sense of "permission" is from 1937. Green and red as signals on railways first attested 1883, as nighttime substitutes for semaphore flags. Green beret originally "British commando" is from 1949. Green room "room for actors when not on stage" is from 1701; presumably a well-known one was painted green.



Old English grenian (see green (n.,adj.)). Related: Greened; greening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with greening


In addition to the idioms beginning with green

  • green about the gills
  • green light, the
  • green thumb
  • green with envy

also see:

  • grass is always greener
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.