olive branch


Definition of olive branch 

1 : a branch of the olive tree especially when used as a symbol of peace

2 : an offer or gesture of conciliation or goodwill

Examples of olive branch in a Sentence

The winner extended an olive branch to his opponent by calling him a great player.

Recent Examples on the Web

In one last touching detail, underneath the whole design are olive branches, which are featured in the Great Seal of the United States. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Received the Ultimate Seal of Approval from Queen Elizabeth," 12 May 2018 The decision could be viewed as an olive branch to China as the two nations battle in an escalating trade war. Jim Puzzanghera, latimes.com, "Trump takes softer approach to restricting Chinese investment, backs bipartisan legislation expanding reviews," 27 June 2018 Starting on New Year’s Day with an olive branch to South Korea, Kim has embarked on a strategy designed to portray him as the responsible leader of a nuclear-armed state, just like the leaders of the United States, China, and Russia. Anna Fifield, BostonGlobe.com, "For Kim Jong Un, meeting Trump is about cementing power at home," 10 June 2018 Sure, a tour is great - but this olive branch situation is an unexpected twist in a pop culture feud that has captivated fans for years. Emily Yahr, chicagotribune.com, "End of feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry has suspiciously perfect timing," 9 May 2018 There have been some olive branches offered by the U.S. and China to each other, though no signs of an imminent breakthrough. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "U.S., China Dig In for Long Trade Fight as Tariffs Take Effect," 6 July 2018 This seemed to be the end of the drama, and Austin has held out an olive branch to the couple, who recently welcomed their fifth child. Temi Adebowale, House Beautiful, "Chip And Joanna Gaines Have Forgiven the Writer Who Criticized Their Parenting," 3 July 2018 The second coin will have a side showing Mr. Trump flanked by Mr. Kim and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea in front of their nations’ flags with a dove holding an olive branch in its beak. New York Times, "Trump Leaves His Mark on a Presidential Keepsake," 24 June 2018 The sanctions highlight how even though Trump continues to rattle U.S. allies with his olive branches to Moscow, there’s still a strong behind-the-scenes push in his administration to check Russian aggression in cyberspace. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: Trump administration is taking a tougher line on Russia than Trump," 12 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of olive branch

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about olive branch

Share olive branch

Statistics for olive branch

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for olive branch

The first known use of olive branch was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for olive branch

olive branch


English Language Learners Definition of olive branch

: something that is said or done to make peace or to show that you want peace : a symbol of peace

Comments on olive branch

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


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!