1. <botany> A tree (Olea Europaea) with small oblong or elliptical leaves, axillary clusters of flowers, and oval, one-seeded drupes. The tree has been cultivated for its fruit for thousands of years, and its branches are the emblems of peace. The wood is yellowish brown and beautifully variegated. The fruit of the olive. It has been much improved by cultivation, and is used for making pickles. Olive oil is pressed from its flesh.

2. <zoology> Any shell of the genus Oliva and allied genera; so called from the form. See Oliva. The oyster catcher.

3. The colour of the olive, a peculiar dark brownish, yellowish, or tawny green. One of the tertiary colours, composed of violet and green mixed in equal strength and proportion.

4. <anatomy> An olivary body. See Olivary.

5. A small slice of meat seasoned, rolled up, and cooked; as, olives of beef or veal.

Olive is sometimes used adjectively and in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, olive brown, olive green, olive-coloured, olive-skinned, olive crown, olive garden, olive tree, olive yard, etc.

<botany> Bohemian olive, a name given to the oleaster or wild stock of the olive; also variously to several trees more or less resembling the olive.

Origin: F, fr. L. Oliva, akin to Gr. See Oil.

(01 Mar 1998)

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