An olive is a very small fruit, although you probably think of it as a savory snack. You might find an olive on a salad, on a pizza, or even on a toothpick in your martini.

Olives are so naturally bitter that they're basically inedible unless they've been treated — cured with lye or salt, and then fermented. In addition to the olives you see in jars on grocery store shelves, olive trees yield an expensive, durable wood; and of course, olive oil. You can also describe the yellowish-green color of an unripe olive as olive. And when someone offers "an olive branch," they are trying to make peace or come to an understanding.

Definitions of olive

n small ovoid fruit of the European olive tree; important food and source of oil

Type of:
the ripened reproductive body of a seed plant

n one-seeded fruit of the European olive tree usually pickled and used as a relish

black olive, ripe olive
olives picked ripe and cured in brine then dried or pickled or preserved canned or in oil
green olive
olives picked green and pickled in brine; infrequently stuffed with e.g. pimento
Type of:
spicy or savory condiment
drupe, stone fruit
fleshy indehiscent fruit with a single seed: e.g. almond; peach; plum; cherry; elderberry; olive; jujube

n evergreen tree cultivated in the Mediterranean region since antiquity and now elsewhere; has edible shiny black fruits

European olive tree, Olea europaea
Type of:
olive tree
a tree of the genus Olea cultivated for its fruit

n hard yellow often variegated wood of an olive tree; used in cabinetwork

Type of:
the hard fibrous lignified substance under the bark of trees

n a yellow-green color of low brightness and saturation

drab, olive drab
a dull greyish to yellowish or light olive brown
Type of:
chromatic color, chromatic colour, spectral color, spectral colour
a color that has hue

adj of a yellow-green color similar to that of an unripe olive

being or having or characterized by hue

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