olive branch

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With reference to classical myth, where the olivebranch was a symbol of peace and prosperity, merging with Biblical allusion to Genesis 8:11, where a dove returns to Noah's ark as a sign that the Flood is subsiding.


olive branch (plural olive branches)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: A branch of an olive tree.
  2. Such a branch offered as an emblem of peace.
  3. Any symbol of peace, or peace offering to an adversary to show good will and in the hope of securing peace.


  • His remarks came after Britain offered a diplomatic olive branch to Iran earlier in the day to try to secure an early release of the prisoners. - The Observer, Iran snubs UK olive branch, 01/04/2007 [1]
  • I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter's gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand - Yasser Arafat