Definition: Green

From New World Encyclopedia

Etymology 1

From Middle English grene, from Old English grēne, from Proto-West Germanic *grōnī, from Proto-Germanic *grōniz, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰreh₁- (to grow).

Similar to North Frisian green, West Frisian grien, Dutch groen, Low German grön, green, greun, German grün, Danish and Norwegian Nynorsk grøn, Swedish grön, Norwegian Bokmål grønn, Icelandic grænn.


green (comparative greener, superlative greenest)

  1. Having green (noun) as its color.
    The former flag of Libya is fully green.
  2. Sickly, unwell.
    Sally looks pretty green—is she going to be sick?
  3. Unripe, said of certain fruits that change color when they ripen.
  4. Inexperienced.
    John's kind of green, so take it easy on him this first week.
  5. Full of life and vigour; fresh and vigorous; new; recent.
  6. Naive or unaware of obvious facts.
  7. Overcome with envy.
    He was green with envy.
  8. Environmentally friendly.
    All his machines run on green energy.
  9. (cricket) Describing a pitch which, even if there is no visible grass, still contains a significant amount of moisture.
  10. Of freshly cut wood or lumber that has not been dried: containing moisture and therefore relatively more flexible or springy.
    That timber is still too green to be used.
  11. (wine) High or too high in acidity.
  12. (particle physics) Having a color charge of green.
  13. Being or relating to the green currencies of the European Union.
    I remember seeing a green pound for the first time when I was in England.
  14. (academia) Subject to or involving a model of open access in which a published article is only available to read for free after an embargo period.

Derived terms

  • blue-green
  • evergreen
  • grass-green
  • green acres
  • greenage
  • greenback
  • green band
  • green bean
  • green belt
  • green card
  • green cheese
  • green energy
  • greener
  • greenery
  • green field
  • green frog
  • greening
  • green investing
  • greenish
  • Greenland
  • green light
  • green line
  • greenness
  • green nightshade
  • green oak
  • green olive
  • green onion
  • green pea
  • green pepper
  • green ribbon
  • green room
  • green screen
  • green sea turtle
  • green snake
  • green tea
  • green thumb
  • green tree frog
  • green with envy
  • greenwood

Etymology 2

From Middle English grene, from the adjective (see above).


green (countable and uncountable, plural greens)

  1. The color of growing foliage, as well as other plant cells containing chlorophyll; the color between yellow and blue in the visible spectrum; one of the primary additive colors for transmitted light; the color obtained by subtracting red and blue from white light using cyan and yellow filters.
    I was originally planning on using green for the text color of the company logo.
  2. (politics, sometimes capitalised) A member of a green party; an environmentalist.
  3. (politics, sometimes capitalised) Islamist.
  4. (golf) A putting green, the part of a golf course near the hole.
  5. (bowls) The surface upon which bowls is played; a bowling green.
  6. (snooker) One of the color balls used in snooker, with a value of 3 points.
  7. A grassy plain; a piece of ground covered with verdant herbage.
  8. (chiefly in the plural) Fresh leaves or branches of trees or other plants; wreaths.
  9. Any substance or pigment of a green color.
  10. A green light used as a signal.
  11. (particle physics) One of the three color charges for quarks.

Derived terms

  • almond green
  • apple green
  • blue green
  • bowling green
  • cedar green
  • cobalt green
  • emerald green
  • forest green
  • grass green
  • greengrocer
  • greenhouse
  • hunter green
  • kelly green
  • leaf green
  • light green
  • lime green
  • moss green
  • olive green
  • pea green
  • putting green
  • red green
  • sea green
  • spring green

Related terms

  • greens
  • wintergreen

Etymology 3

From Middle English grenen, from Old English grēnian (to become green, flourish), from Proto-West Germanic *grōnijan, from Proto-Germanic *grōnijōną, *grōnijaną (to become green), from the adjective (see above).

Cognate with Saterland Frisian gräinje, German Low German grönen, German grünen, Swedish gröna, Icelandic gróna.


green (third-person singular simple present greens, present participle greening, simple past and past participle greened)

  1. To make (something) green, to turn (something) green.
  2. To become or grow green in color.
  3. To add greenspaces to (a town, etc.).
  4. To become environmentally aware.
  5. To make (something) environmentally friendly.
    The company decided to green their business practices.

Derived terms

  • greenable
  • greening


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