• Of a dusky yellowish green color; olive green.

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Example Sentences

“Sometimes Kermit the Frog’s color appears olivaceous, while other times he is a bright kelly green.”

“The birdwatcher spotted a warbler with a dusky, olivaceous color.”

“Trina grimaced when her mother set an olivaceous bowl of split pea soup in front of her.”

Word Origin

Latin, late 18th century

Why this word?

“Olivaceous” describes a shade of green deeper and duskier than grass green; as the name implies, it’s more akin to the color of olives or olive oil. The word is borrowed from the Latin “olīvāceus,” a combination of the words “olīv(a)” (“olive”) and “-aceous” (“the nature of”). Olive trees were originally native to Asia Minor, but they’ve since spread throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean. This evergreen species is the world’s oldest known cultivated tree, grown by farmers even before the onset of written language.

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