• (British) enPR: ŏl'ĭv, IPA: /ˈɒlɪv/
  • (America) enPR: äl'ĭv, IPA: /ˈɑlɪv/, [ˈʔɑːɫlɨv̥]

olive (plural olives)

  1. A tree, Olea europaea, cultivated since ancient times in the Mediterranean for its fruit and the oil obtained from it.
  2. The small oval fruit of this tree, eaten ripe (usually black) or unripe (usually green).
  3. The wood of the olive tree.
  4. A dark yellowish-green color, that of an unripe olive.
  5. (anatomy) An olivary body, part of the medulla oblongata.
  6. A component of a plumbing compression joint; a ring which is placed between the nut and the pipe and compressed during fastening to provide a seal.
  7. (cookery) A small slice of meat seasoned, rolled up, and cooked.
    a beef olive
    olives of veal
  8. Any shell of the genus Oliva and allied genera; so called from the shape.
  9. (UK, dialect) An oystercatcher, a shore bird.
Translations Translations Translations Adjective


  1. Of a grayish green color, that of an unripe olive.
Related terms Translations
Proper noun
  1. A female given name.
    • 1842 Alfred Tennyson, The Talking Oak:
      And hear me swear a solemn oath, / That only by thy side / Will I to Olive plight my troth, / And gain her for my bride.
    • 1850 Dinah Craik, Olive, Chapman and Hall, page 26:
      "Elspie, I have a thought! The baby shall be christened Olive!"
      "It's a strange, heathen name, Mrs. Rothesay."
      "Not at all. Listen how I chanced to think of it. This very morning, just before you came to waken me, I had such a queer, delicious dream. [ - - - ] Then I looked up, after awhile, and saw standing at the foot of the bed a little angel—a child-angel—with a green olive-branch in its hand. [ - - - ] "
    • 2006 Alice Munro, The View from Castle Rock, Chatto & Windus, ISBN 0701179899, pages 227-228:
      There was Olive, a soft drowsy girl who didn't like me because I called her Olive Oyl. Even after I was made to apologize she didn't like me.
  2. Surname
  3. (rare) A male given name.
Related terms

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