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

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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

Visits to the ocean were a big deal for folks from Pennsylvania steel towns such as Grandma D. Daytona Beach then was in its beachy salad days. Joy Wallace Dickinson,, "Magic carpets of steel brought family together," 13 May 2018 Paul’s interview with Bob Castellini and some of his confounding comments have people harkening back to the salad days of Marge Schott, a comparison no owner of a baseball team should ever wish upon himself. Richard Fitch,, "Guest TML: Cincinnati Reds' rebuild is right where it should be," 27 Apr. 2018 In Lytro’s salad days, 2011, founder and CEO Ren Ng demonstrated the company’s product at Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colo. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Postmates Delivery Service Revives Dot Com Bust Business Niche," 30 Mar. 2018 When news broke Tuesday morning that Rex Tillerson’s salad days at the White House were over, that was only the tip of the iceberg — or, in this case, the romaine. Tierney Mcafee,, "'Rex, Eat the Salad': Internet Feasts on Awkward Moment Between Trump and Tillerson," 14 Mar. 2018 This splendidly crafted first installment covers 1957-67, the salad days of a whip-smart, arrogant, ambitious young man determined to forge himself as a writer. New York Times, "10 New Books We Recommend This Week," 21 Dec. 2017 Back during the salad days of their relationship, Ms. Cooper and Mr. Weah traveled together to Monte Carlo and Mexico. Helene Cooper, New York Times, "Liberia Holds a Free Election. Make That ‘Free-for-All.’," 6 Oct. 2017 Is there any way to return to the salad days of 59 degrees? James Freeman, WSJ, "Our Changing News Climate," 18 July 2017

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.

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First Known Use of salad days

1606, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of salad days was in 1606

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More Definitions for salad days

salad days


English Language Learners Definition of salad days

somewhat old-fashioned
: the period of life when someone is young and does not have much experience
: an early period of success

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Comments on salad days

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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