green·​horn ˈgrēn-ˌhȯrn How to pronounce greenhorn (audio)
: an inexperienced or naive person
: a newcomer (as to a country) unacquainted with local manners and customs

Examples of greenhorn in a Sentence

He's not the most sophisticated businessman you'll ever meet, but he's no greenhorn. go easy on him—he's just a greenhorn and doesn't have all the experience you do
Recent Examples on the Web Behind her, a greenhorn named Jessie (Cailee Spaeny) takes photos of Lee taking photos of the dead, and behind Jessie, of course, are Garland and his cinematographer Rob Hardy filming images of both women. Amy Nicholson, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 That's a pretty apt casting given that the three other members are greenhorns in terms of major titles. Tim Ellis, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 On the fishing boat, a greenhorn named Steve can’t stop going on about ripping off his own father of 40 grand, the cash still in his car, where he’s been living. Tod Goldberg, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 Yet even before the Academy-Award winning film provided a boost to a once-fringe sport, Honnold had inspired one important greenhorn to get up from her desk and out onto the rocks: his 58-year-old mother. Anita Chabria Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2021 Rick’s crew rescues a greenhorn and her rock truck, and Tony’s team tries an ancient fix to keep his operation afloat. Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2021 By the time Jacob turned 2, Tony had put a ball in his son’s hands and was watching his greenhorn grow. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 That system, of course, collapsed under the weight of thousands of greenhorn prospectors. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 9 May 2021 The 22-year-old greenhorn heading from Washington to Cleveland in 1992 was a wiry 6-1 receiver named Keenan McCardell, now the 51-year-old receivers coach for the Vikings. On The Nfl Mark Craig, Star Tribune, 27 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'greenhorn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


obsolete greenhorn animal with green or young horns

First Known Use

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of greenhorn was in 1672

Dictionary Entries Near greenhorn

Cite this Entry

“Greenhorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


green·​horn -ˌhȯrn How to pronounce greenhorn (audio)
: an inexperienced person
especially : one easily tricked or cheated

More from Merriam-Webster on greenhorn

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