salad days

plural noun

Definition of salad days

: time of youthful inexperience or indiscretion my salad days when I was green in judgment— William Shakespeare also : an early flourishing period : heyday

When is someone in their salad days?

A good salad is fresh, crisp, and usually green. Those attributes are often associated (in both vegetables and people) with vitality and immaturity. The first English writer known to use salad days to associate the fresh greenness of salad with the vigor and recklessness of youth was William Shakespeare. In Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra praises Marc Antony's valor and demands that her serving woman do the same. When the servant instead praises her former consort, Caesar, Cleopatra threatens her—until the woman notes that she is only echoing Cleopatra's own effusive past praise of Caesar. Cleopatra's reply marks the first English use of salad days:

"My salad days,
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
To say as I said then."

Examples of salad days in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The two-time Oscar winner for best actor has been a fan of Cleveland’s professional baseball team since his time in the city in the late 1970s while working an internship at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in his pre-Hollywood salad days. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Apr. 2022 It’s John’s inheritance from his recently deceased father, an original mod revivalist who, in his salad days, once led a bikers’ protest against Margaret Thatcher on the streets of Brighton. Guy Lodge, Variety, 17 Nov. 2021 After running the Spurs on something akin to autopilot during the Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili salad days, Popovich relishes the chance to be a teacher again. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Oct. 2021 The first feature from Just Philippot harkens back to those salad days of bodily mutilation with a newfound technical finesse, making CGI obedience possible from the many animal co-stars. Charles Bramesco, Vulture, 25 Aug. 2021 And with the new site expected to create just 40 jobs, and up to 70 pending future expansions, that doesn’t mean Millville is poised to return to its salad days as a manufacturing hub. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 7 Apr. 2021 The numbers provided further evidence that Netflix’s salad days may be over, particularly in the U.S., where most households that want its 12-year-old streaming service already have it. Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2019 Now, roughly 70 percent of the properties have rooms that offer a modern take on the hotel’s midcentury salad days, complete with interiors painted in orange and turquoise., 3 Oct. 2019 The longer the offense stays stuck in idle, the further away the salad days of Jan. 1 bowl games will seem. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, 15 Sep. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of salad days

1606, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About salad days

Time Traveler for salad days

Time Traveler

The first known use of salad days was in 1606

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About salad days

Dictionary Entries Near salad days

salad cream

salad days

salad dressing

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for salad days

Last Updated

28 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Salad days.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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