ol·​ive | \ ˈä-liv How to pronounce olive (audio) , -ləv \

Definition of olive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a Mediterranean evergreen tree (Olea europaea of the family Oleaceae, the olive family) cultivated for its drupaceous fruit that is an important food and source of oil also : the fruit
b : any of various shrubs and trees resembling the olive
2 : any of several colors resembling that of the unripe fruit of the olive tree that are yellowish green
3 : an oval eminence on each ventrolateral aspect of the medulla oblongata



Definition of olive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of the color olive or olive green
2 : approaching olive in color or complexion

Examples of olive in a Sentence

Noun a sauce made with chopped olives Does the suit come in olive?
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Zelensky’s serene yet resolute appearance at Cannes—decked out in his trademark, sober-looking olive-drab shirt, looking perhaps a little tired but nothing close to weary—brought a dash of humility to this assertively imperious festival. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 18 May 2022 Men with dry skin will be glad to hear that this one is enriched with vitamin E, olive leaf extract, aloe vera, and flaxseed extract. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 May 2022 Koutsioukis scoured Los Angeles’s famous flea markets for aesthetic adornments: pots were found at the Topanga Vintage Market, while vases and clay-olive urns turned up at a one-off sale by a passionate collector of Mediterranean objects. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 16 May 2022 Beard Oil SheaMoisture’s signature maracuja and shea oil are both in this blend, alongside oils of grape seed, olive, castor, jojoba, sweet almond and coconut. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 15 May 2022 Sink your teeth into Maceo's popular muffalettas, a cold cut sandwich with Italian salami, provolone cheese, ham and the family’s secret olive dressing. Adrianne Reece, Chron, 12 May 2022 Other medium-size trees to consider for your landscape include anaqua, crape myrtle, Mexican plum, Mexican olive and redbud. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 6 May 2022 New York designer Steven Gambrel, for example, has variously sheathed rooms in schemes of chocolate, olive and smoke—tempered palettes his clients often request. Kathryn O’shea-evans, WSJ, 5 May 2022 To balance out the serum's exfoliating effects, cosmetic chemist Ginger King explains that its mix of natural oils like apricot, olive, almond, and sunflower aid in moisturizing and nourishing overnight. Talia Gutierrez, Allure, 4 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Heading back to Palma by the MA-10 takes you along a portion of the mega-windy and gorgeous road that is lined with olive groves behind stone walls. John Oseid, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Christian worshipers reenacting the event by carrying palm fronds and olive branches marched from the top of the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem. Jon Brown, Fox News, 10 Apr. 2022 The rustic-chic spot is surrounded by pine trees, olive groves, and ocean views, plus there are plenty of ancient ruins to explore throughout the day. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 25 Apr. 2022 Their hypoallergenic moisturizer soothes dry skin with olive polyphenols, neuropeptides, and tocotrienols. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 International competitions are about togetherness and extending olive branches, but Russia’s athletes cannot be welcomed in Alabama while Ukraine fights for its survival. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 26 Feb. 2022 But there are so many little steps along the way that are olive branches. Ramin Setoodeh, Variety, 5 Feb. 2022 Its stretchy fabric and loose fit make for comfortable wear, and the olive shade acts as both a wardrobe neutral and eye-catching statement piece. Emily Belfiore, Travel + Leisure, 15 Mar. 2022 Cage begrudgingly accepts an offer to attend the birthday party of an olive grove magnate named Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) in Majorca, Spain, for $1 million. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of olive


1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for olive


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin oliva, from Greek elaia

Learn More About olive

Dictionary Entries Near olive



olive acanthus

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Statistics for olive

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Olive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/olive. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for olive


ol·​ive | \ ˈä-liv How to pronounce olive (audio) \

Kids Definition of olive

1 : the oily fruit of an evergreen tree that is eaten both ripe and unripe and is the source of an edible oil ( olive oil )
2 : a yellowish green color


ol·​ive | \ ˈäl-iv, -əv How to pronounce olive (audio) \

Medical Definition of olive

1 : an Old World evergreen tree (Olea europaea of the family Oleaceae, the olive family) cultivated for its drupaceous fruit that is an important food and source of oil also : the fruit
2 : an oval eminence on each ventrolateral aspect of the medulla oblongata that contains the inferior olive of the same side

called also olivary body


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