Main definitions of olive branch in US English:

: olive branch1Olive Branch2

olive branch1


  • 1The branch of an olive tree, traditionally regarded as a symbol of peace (in allusion to the story of Noah in Gen. 8:1, in which a dove returns with an olive branch after the Flood).

    • ‘In 1994, in a speech to the United Nations, he waved a leafy branch above his head: ‘I come bearing an olive branch in one hand’ he said.’
    • ‘However, how can we offer the olive branch, if they are the ones that are attacking us?’
    • ‘Like our fathers and grandfathers who fought and died to liberate the world from Nazism and Fascism and Communism, the cluster of arrows to defend our freedom and the olive branch of peace have now been handed to us.’
    • ‘Behind, the fierce, all-powerful figure is not the Spirit of War but the angel of peace, carrying an olive branch.’
    • ‘Princes of Canaan, I bear you high to the mountains of the Lord and grant you the fragrant olive branch as a symbol of hope and peace.’
    • ‘Your mother, who likes to give me the impression that she has a degree in Peace Studies, and generally flies everywhere with an olive branch rammed in her beak, should be proud of me, but will probably laugh her head off when she sees it.’
    • ‘In the tale of Noah and his Ark, it is a dove carrying an olive branch that signals the end of the flood and that land is near.’
    • ‘He returned with an olive branch under the 1993 Oslo peace accords.’
    • ‘The importance of the olive tree and the veneration which it has aroused since prehistoric times are widely attested, for example by the use of the olive branch as a symbol for peace.’
    • ‘A white dove and a green olive branch adorned the violet silk banner hoisted by the Worthing and Lancing branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.’
    • ‘In 1974, he famously stood at the UN General Assembly with a gun in one hand and an olive branch in the other - the gun to protect the olive branch, he said.’
    • ‘Standing beside her, the largest head belongs to the white dove, holding an olive branch in its mouth and sporting 5-foot wings.’
    • ‘Peace is the only answer, the dove, the olive branch, the white flag, all of it.’
    • ‘The olive branch is more proactive than the dove because it represents human interaction.’
    • ‘Stemming from the Judeo-Christian tradition, a dove and olive branch stands for the hope of peace for the future.’
    • ‘But when it came to a ‘family photo’ of the EU leaders holding olive branches in front of a giant dove of peace, he ducked out and left early.’
    • ‘An olive branch is still the symbol of peace, probably because it brings to mind Noah's Ark.’
    • ‘Don't let the olive branch fall from my hand.’
    • ‘Atop the arch stood a fourteen-foot-tall statue of Peace holding a wreath in one hand and an olive branch in the other.’
    • ‘The olive branch is recognized as a symbol of peace and freedom.’
    1. 1.1 An offer of reconciliation.
      ‘the government is holding out an olive branch to the demonstrators’
      • ‘Perhaps she's offering an olive branch to Edmonton dance audiences, already sensing the bitter taste that still lingers since the company moved down south in 1990.’
      • ‘He has gone out his way to offer an olive branch, even inviting the mainland's chief cross-strait negotiator to his inauguration.’
      • ‘His offer of an olive branch should bring to an end the bizarre rift which opened up between the two men last week when they were attending Tartan Day celebrations in the United States.’
      • ‘He told them the party had offered an olive branch and reconciliation to Lucky after she introduced professional and personal integrity at their caucus.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister offered union leaders an olive branch last week when he agreed they should establish a joint ‘forum’ to discuss public service reform, during a 75-minute meeting in Downing Street.’
      • ‘Would he stoop so low as to take the uncertain olive branch that the former Prime Minister offers?’
      • ‘They offered an olive branch but the market doesn't really believe it.’
      • ‘Wounded by what they consider an unpatriotic ambush, the Marines rejected the union's olive branch and secured an alternative parking lot.’
      • ‘While forgiveness might be good for the soul, it needs both sides to proffer that olive branch, and that is not really happening.’
      • ‘She could reject his (questionable, I admit) olive branch, and stay chilly and resentful - which will only make the other woman seem more desirable.’
      • ‘But the threat of major disruption to travel will hang over passengers until next Thursday when the four unions at the company meet to discuss a joint response to the minister's olive branch.’
      • ‘Even had he chosen not to thank anyone, he could perhaps have offered an olive branch, and admitted that while mistakes have been made, and will continue to be made, it is only together that we can go forward.’
      • ‘The growing relationship between City and Chesterfield fans has also seen olive branches offered from Saltergate.’
      • ‘She hopes Madame will accept that as some sort of olive branch and move on, but, oh no, of course not.’
      • ‘The sis and I thought we'd do the noble thing and suggest we all meet for discussion, extend that olive branch, that family was too important to let things end like this.’
      • ‘So they offer the olive branch of further talks, and the prospect of a reorganised Champions League and Uefa Cup in a few years time.’
      • ‘Angry commuters rallying for extra parking spaces at Salisbury railway station were offered an olive branch this week.’
      • ‘By electing a senior Islamic cleric, the cardinals could avoid exacerbating the split in the divided Catholic church, while simultaneously holding out an olive branch to another great world religion.’
      • ‘But the council said it was ‘vindicated’ by the High Court ruling, even offering an olive branch to its adversaries.’
      • ‘A rawdon school seeking to move to a new site is holding out an olive branch to those who fiercely opposed the move.’


In allusion to the story of Noah in Gen. 8:1, in which a dove returns with an olive branch after the Flood, taken as a symbol of peace after God's punishment of mankind.


olive branch

/ˈɑləv bræntʃ/

Main definitions of olive branch in US English:

: olive branch1Olive Branch2

Olive Branch2

proper noun

  • A city in northern Mississippi, just south of the Tennessee border; population 31,830 (est. 2008).