See more synonyms for olive on Thesaurus.com
  1. an evergreen tree, Olea europaea, of Mediterranean and other warm regions, cultivated chiefly for its fruit.Compare olive family.
  2. the fruit of this tree, a small oval drupe, eaten as a relish and used as a source of oil.
  3. Also called olive wood. the wood of this tree, valued for ornamental work.
  4. the foliage of this tree.
  5. a wreath of it.
  6. any of various related or similar trees.
  7. olive branch.
  8. the ocher green or dull yellow green of the unripe olive fruit.
  1. of, relating to, or made of olives, their foliage, or their fruit.
  2. of the color olive.
  3. tinged with this color: an olive complexion.

Origin of olive

1150–1200; Middle English < Old French < Latin olīva, by-form of olea < dialectal Greek *elaíwa olive, olive tree; cf. oil, oleaceous
Related formssub·ol·ive, adjective


  1. a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for olive


  1. an evergreen oleaceous tree, Olea europaea, of the Mediterranean region but cultivated elsewhere, having white fragrant flowers, and edible shiny black fruits
  2. the fruit of this plant, eaten as a relish and used as a source of olive oil
  3. the wood of the olive tree, used for ornamental work
  4. any of various trees or shrubs resembling the olive
    1. a yellow-green colour
    2. (as adjective)an olive coat
  5. an angler's name for the dun of various mayflies or an artificial fly in imitation of this
  1. of, relating to, or made of the olive tree, its wood, or its fruit

Word Origin for olive

C13: via Old French from Latin oliva, related to Greek elaia olive tree; compare Greek elaion oil
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 olive

c.1200, "olive tree," from Old French olive "olive, olive tree" (13c.) or directly from Latin oliva "olive, olive tree," from Greek elaia "olive tree, olive," probably from the same Aegean language (perhaps Cretan) as Armenian ewi "oil." Applied to the fruit or berry of the tree in English from late 14c. As a color from 17c. Olive branch as a token of peace is from early 13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

olive in Medicine


  1. olivary body
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.