\ˈgrēn \

Definition of green 

(Entry 1 of 6)

1 : of the color green

2a : covered by green growth or foliage green fields

b of winter : mild, clement

c : consisting of green plants and usually edible herbage a green salad

3 : pleasantly alluring

5 : not ripened or matured green apples

6 : fresh, new

7a : marked by a pale, sickly, or nauseated appearance

b : envious sense 1 used especially in the phrase green with envy

8a : not fully processed or treated: such as

(1) : not aged green liquor

(2) : not dressed or tanned green hides

(3) : freshly sawed green lumber

b : not in condition for a particular use

9a : deficient in training, knowledge, or experience green recruits

b : deficient in sophistication and savoir faire : naive was green and credulous

c : not fully qualified for or experienced in a particular function

10a often capitalized : relating to or being an environmentalist political movement

b : concerned with or supporting environmentalism green consumers who practice recycling

c : tending to preserve environmental quality (as by being recyclable, biodegradable, or nonpolluting) greener energy solutions

green around the gills

: pale or sickly in appearance


greened; greening; greens

Definition of green (Entry 2 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to become green



Definition of green (Entry 3 of 6)

1 : a color whose hue is somewhat less yellow than that of growing fresh grass or of the emerald or is that of the part of the spectrum lying between blue and yellow

2 : something of a green color

3 : green vegetation: such as

a greens plural : leafy parts of plants for use as decoration

b greens plural

(1) : leafy herbs (such as spinach, dandelions, or Swiss chard) that are cooked as a vegetable

(2) : green vegetables

4 : a grassy plain or plot: such as

a : a common or park in the center of a town or village

b : putting green

5 : money especially : greenbacks

6 often capitalized : environmentalist especially : a member of an activist political party focusing on environmental and social issues

7 physics : one of the three colors (see color entry 1 sense 15) that quarks have in the theory of quantum chromodynamics Whereas there is just one kind of electric charge, however, there are three kinds of color charge, usually called red, blue and green. (The names, of course, have nothing to do with colors in the everyday sense.)— Elliott D. Bloom and Gary J. Feldman


biographical name (1)

Definition of Green (Entry 4 of 6)

Julien or Julian 1900–1998 French novelist


biographical name (2)

Definition of Green (Entry 5 of 6)

William 1873–1952 American labor leader


geographical name
\ˈgrēn \

Definition of Green (Entry 6 of 6)

1 river 730 miles (1175 kilometers) long in the western U.S. flowing from the Wind River Range in western Wyoming south into the Colorado River in southeastern Utah

2 city in northeastern Ohio south of Akron population 22,817

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Other Words from green


greenish \ˈgrē-​nish \ adjective
greenishness noun
greenly adverb
greenness \ˈgrē(n)-​nəs \ noun


greeny \ˈgrē-​nē \ adjective

Examples of green in a Sentence


fields green with meadow grass a new pitcher who's pretty green, even by rookie standards


a mixture of blues and greens The town green was the center of activity. It took him four shots to get to the green.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Its interiors are largely ecru and rust tones; its exteriors are blue-green and overcast. Aja Romano, Vox, "How Suspiria turns the color red into a plot point," 9 Nov. 2018 The couple was seen arriving and greeting their hosts, with Harry in a dark suit and Meghan in a forest-green-and-white-striped dress and her hair in a ponytail. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a Striped Martin Grant Dress in Tonga," 25 Oct. 2018 Let earthy tones be your guide, in the style of subtle-color fans like Steve Carell, who mixes toasty shades of brown, or John Mayer, who’s worn forest-green trousers with a sky blue jacket. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Why Men Fear Wearing Color. And the Secret to Pulling It Off.," 11 Oct. 2018 Cherokee Green A new favorite offspring of the Cherokee line, this superb variety boasts Cherokee Purple quality in a tomato with grass-green flesh and amber skin. Craig Lehoullier, Good Housekeeping, "The 19 Most Delicious Heirloom Tomatoes in the World," 8 Aug. 2018 The vivid red-and-green leafy plants are celebrated throughout the city with plantings everywhere. Richard Tribou,, "52 excuses to visit Florida's Highlands County," 1 July 2018 Exposure to blue-green algae can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle weakness and difficulty breathing. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pewaukee beach has reopened following algae testing, removal," 29 June 2018 Democrats in the Legislature from the more rural parts of the state, where there is more skepticism about an overly green agenda, could complicate Polis’s plans for passing his preferred policies. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Democratic wins in these 9 states will have seismic policy consequences," 9 Nov. 2018 The candle collection consists of four candles/unique scents; Pine of the Light Candle (green like a serpent), Amber Balm Candle (regal in navy), Exquisite Almond Candle (rich in burgundy), and Carrousel (radiant in gold). Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "5 Harry Potter Holiday Candles," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Earth Dayarrives on Friday and with it a deluge of information about recycling, planting trees and other great do-gooder activities to green our planet. Mandy Major, Woman's Day, "Cool, Small Ways to Create an Eco-Friendly Office," 20 Apr. 2011 Understandably unsatisfied with his putting performance, Woods headed to the practice green shortly after the conclusion of his round. Daniel Rapaport,, "Tiger Woods Opens Wells Fargo With Solid Even-Par 71 Despite Putting Woes," 3 May 2018 Another great way to green your wedding and save money? Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "6 Ways To Save Cash By Making Your Wedding Gorgeous And Green," 16 June 2017 Olson sees a more existential value in greening up death care. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 The lawn greens up again as soon as the rains restart. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "Drought restrictions and options for parched yards," 8 June 2018 Olson sees a more existential value in greening up death care. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 Other city agencies and local nonprofits have turned to greening these buildings and lots, creating urban farms, pocket parks, and community gardens. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The high cost of abandoned property, and how cities can push back," 1 June 2018 Quality turf fertilizers offered at local garden centers contain adequate nitrogen to re-green your lawn — and often iron to help form green chlorophyll within the blades. Tom Maccubbin,, "Talking St. Augustine lawns, from seeds to fertilizer," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This veritable botanical garden, in an astonishing variety of shades of green, means there's new life here—a hopeful metaphor for what's happening across the island. David Jefferys, Condé Nast Traveler, "Puerto Rico's Dorado Beach Is a Bit of Bali, Three Hours from Home," 12 Nov. 2018 Beet greens are also tasty raw, braised, or stir-fried. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Beets This Fall for a Hearty Autumn Harvest," 21 Aug. 2018 But archaeologists say the soil where people of the Neolithic age likely put large timber posts can hold more residual moisture, allowing it to better cope with drought conditions and display a healthier shade of green. Daniel Victor, New York Times, "Drought and Drone Reveal ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Signs of Ancient Henge in Ireland," 13 July 2018 The greens are massive and fast and reward short-game imagination. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: How Sand Valley Golf Resort is transforming central Wisconsin," 30 June 2018 Like red beets, leafy greens are also high in nitrates. Sara Angle, Outside Online, "Athletes, Stock Up on This Powerhouse Summer Produce," 22 June 2018 The greens are incredibly large, meaning that golfers will inevitably face several long putts going up, down and around multiple hills and undulations. Brent Kennedy, The Aegis, "Mountain Branch Golf Club," 22 June 2018 Considering its relentless hardscapes, green isn’t a color typically associated with DTLA. Matt Jaffe,, "Green travel in (gasp!) Los Angeles is easier than you think," 19 June 2018 In the photograph, which features Meghan and Prince Harry posing together in the center surrounded by their family members, the color green was a main theme scattered throughout the shot to pull the whole portrait together. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Why Green? The Meaning Behind the Color Coordination in the Official Royal Wedding Portraits," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'green.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of green


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for green


Middle English grene, from Old English grēne; akin to Old English grōwan to grow


see green entry 1


see green entry 1

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Learn More about green

Dictionary Entries near green

Greek wave






green acid

Statistics for green

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for green

The first known use of green was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for green



English Language Learners Definition of green

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having the color of growing grass

: covered by green grass or other plants

: consisting of green plants or of the leaves of plants



English Language Learners Definition of green (Entry 2 of 2)

: a color that is like the color of growing grass

greens : the leaves of plants used for food

: a large area covered with growing grass in the center of a town or village


\ˈgrēn \
greener; greenest

Kids Definition of green

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of the color of grass : colored green a green shirt

2 : covered with green plant growth green fields

3 : made of green plants or of the leafy parts of plants a green salad

4 : not ripe green bananas

5 : not fully processed, treated, or seasoned green lumber

6 : lacking training or experience green troops

7 : jealous sense 2 green with envy

8 : supporting the protection of or helping to protect the environment green activists green household products



Kids Definition of green (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a color between blue and yellow : the color of growing grass

2 greens plural : leafy parts of plants used for food

3 : a grassy plain or plot the village green


\ˈgrēn \

Medical Definition of green 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of the color green

2 of a wound : being recently incurred and unhealed

3 : marked by a pale, sickly, or nauseated appearance

4 of hemolytic streptococci : tending to produce green pigment when cultured on blood media



Medical Definition of green (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a color whose hue is somewhat less yellow than that of growing fresh grass or of the emerald or is that of the part of the spectrum lying between blue and yellow

2 : a pigment or dye that colors green — see janus green

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More from Merriam-Webster on green

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for green

Spanish Central: Translation of green

Nglish: Translation of green for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of green for Arabic Speakers

Comments on green

What made you want to look up green? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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