[ green-meyl ]
/ ˈgrinˌmeɪl /

noun Stock Exchange.

the practice of buying a large block of a company's stock in order to force a rise in stock prices or an offer by the company to repurchase that block of stock at an inflated price to thwart a possible takeover bid.

Nearby words

  1. greenlandic,
  2. greenlawn,
  3. greenlet,
  4. greenling,
  5. greenly,
  6. greenmarket,
  7. greenness,
  8. greenock,
  9. greenockite,
  10. greenough

Origin of greenmail

green (in sense “money”) + (black)mail

Related formsgreen·mail·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for greenmail


/ (ˈɡriːnˌmeɪl) /


(esp in the US) the practice of a company buying sufficient shares in another company to threaten takeover and making a quick profit as a result of the threatened company buying back its shares at a higher price

Word Origin for greenmail

C20: a blend of green (sense 8) or greenback (sense 2) + blackmail

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