an/the olive branch

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an/the olive branch

A symbol, expression, or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. Used most commonly in the phrase "hold out/offer (someone) an/the olive branch." The conservatives in Congress seem to be offering the olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to hold out the olive branch.
See also: branch, olive

olive branch

A symbol of peace, an offering of good will, as in They feuded for years, but finally the Hatfields came over bearing an olive branch. This term is alluded to in the Bible (Genesis 8:11), where the dove comes to Noah after the flood with an olive leaf in its mouth. [c. 1600]
See also: branch, olive