• synonyms


  1. shaped like an olive.
  2. of or relating to an olivary body
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Origin of olivary

First recorded in 1535–45, olivary is from the Latin word olīvārius belonging to olives. See olive, -ary
Related formsin·ter·ol·i·var·y, adjectivepost·ol·i·var·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for olivary

Historical Examples

  • It consists of a long shaft with an olivary point at one end and a spatula at the other.

    Surgical Instruments in Greek and Roman Times

    John Stewart Milne

  • It consists of a handle with an olivary point at one end, and at the other a plate with transverse ridges.

  • The spathomele and other olivary probes were no doubt often used as small pestles.

British Dictionary definitions for olivary


  1. shaped like an olive
  2. anatomy of or relating to either of two masses of tissue (olivary bodies) on the forward portion of the medulla oblongata
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin olivārius, from oliva olive
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

olivary in Medicine


  1. Of or relating to the olivary body.
  2. Relating to or shaped like an olive.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.