green·​horn | \ ˈgrēn-ˌhȯrn How to pronounce greenhorn (audio) \

Definition of greenhorn

1 : an inexperienced or naive person
2 : a newcomer (as to a country) unacquainted with local manners and customs

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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 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 Rising is a greenhorn who has the advantage of having sat in the press box alongside Andy Ludwig during games in a redshirt year last season, sponging up everything there is to absorb shadowing the man who makes the Utes' offensive decisions. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Oct. 2020 This season, Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets and Rick Ness are joined by Fred Lewis, a military veteran and a greenhorn miner, who works with a crew made up of fellow veterans in Oregon. oregonlive, 18 Oct. 2020 As the super snow-moon storm peaks, he Cornelia Marie’s deck becomes a gantlet for Josh and Casey’s greenest greenhorn. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2020 Which makes third-place finisher Frank Mann, who’s been Losing for almost a decade now, a virtual greenhorn. Washington Post, 2 July 2020 Still, circumstances and talent always permit some greenhorns to excel, and that will doubtless be the case again whenever football resumes. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 19 May 2020 Not all Walmart employees are rolling out the welcome mat for Thompson and his fellow greenhorns. Matthew Boyle, Fortune, 26 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'greenhorn.' 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 greenhorn

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for greenhorn

obsolete greenhorn animal with green or young horns

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Learn More About greenhorn

Time Traveler for greenhorn

Time Traveler

The first known use of greenhorn was in 1672

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Statistics for greenhorn

Last Updated

22 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Greenhorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for greenhorn



English Language Learners Definition of greenhorn

informal : a person who lacks experience and knowledge


green·​horn | \ ˈgrēn-ˌhȯrn How to pronounce greenhorn (audio) \

Kids Definition of greenhorn

: a person who is new at something

More from Merriam-Webster on greenhorn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for greenhorn

Nglish: Translation of greenhorn for Spanish Speakers


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