Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Ol’ive (2 syl.).

 O’lio or Oglio.Ol’ive Branches. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Ol’ive (2 syl.).
Sacred to Pallas Athe’n. (See OLIVE-TREE.)   1
   EMBLEM of (1) Chastity. In Greece the newly-married bride wore an olivegarland; with us the orange-blossom is more usual.   2
   (2) Fecundity. The fruit of the olive is produced in vast profusion; so that olive-trees are valuable to their owners. (See ORANGE-BLOSSOMS.)   3
   (3) Merit. In ancient Greece a crown of olive-twigs was the highest distinction of a citizen who had deserved well of his country.   4
   (4) Peace. An olive-branch was anciently a symbol of peace. The vanquished who sued for peace carried olive-branches in their hands. And an olive-twig in the hands of a king (on medals), as in the case of Numa, indicated a reign of peace.   5
       To hold out the olive branch. To make overtures of peace.
   (5) Prosperity. David says, “I am like a green olive-tree in the house of God” (Psalm lii. 8).   6
   (6) Victory. The highest prize in the Olympic games was a crown of olive-leaves.   7
   ORIGIN of the olive-tree. The tale is, that Athn (Minerva) and Poseidon (Neptune) disputed the honour of giving a name to a certain city of Greece, and agreed to settle the question by a trial of which could produce the best gift for the new city. Athn commanded the earth to bring forth the olive-tree. Poseidon commanded the sea to bring forth the war-horse. Athn’s gift was adjudged the better, and the city was called Athens.   8

 O’lio or Oglio.Ol’ive Branches. 


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