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.
    • 2017 March 1, Anthony Zurcher, “Trump addresses Congress: A kinder, gentler president”, in BBC News[1]:
      On immigration in particular, the change of tone was jarring, even from within the speech itself. Amidst warning of the threats posed by illegal immigration to jobs and safety, the president seemingly extended an olive branch to his opponents.


  • 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 [2]
  • 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