give (one) the green light

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give (one) the green light

To grant someone permission to proceed with some action or task. Likened to the green light of a traffic signal. We're just waiting our manager to give us the green light before we release the latest software update.
See also: give, green, light
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give someone/something the green light


give the green light to someone/something

COMMON If someone in authority gives someone or something the green light or gives the green light to someone or something, they allow someone to do something or something to happen. He has finally been given the green light to build five new houses on the land. Note: You can also say that someone gets the green light. I've got a bunch more songs, and if I can get the green light from my manager, I'd like to go straight back in and record some more. Note: People use a green light to mean permission from someone in authority. Is that a green light for interest-rate cuts?
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

green light, get/give the

Permission to proceed. The term alludes to the green of traffic lights, signifying “go ahead,” which began to be used on railroads in the nineteenth century. Terence Rattigan in his play French without Tears (1937) wrote, “We had a bottle of wine and got pretty gay, and all the time she was giving me the old green light” (3.1).
See also: get, give, green
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Assembly has now confirmed it would give the green light for a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of Somerfield's land.
In the dissenting paragraph n.26 of this 1968 statement by the Canadian bishops on Humanae vitae, the bishops give the green light (erroneously) to a married couple's subjective defence of the use of contraception, even though contraception is intrinsically evil: "[T]hey may be safely assured that whoever honestly chooses (emphasis mine) that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience." Archbishop Meagher, in similar fashion, is giving the green light (erroneously also) to the Government to "protect the rights and benefits of two men or two women who choose (emphasis mine) to enter into such a relationship ..." which, the Catholic Church teaches, is immoral.
More than 2000 of them have signed a petition demanding that the Meath County Council give the green light to Lidl, which is known for rock-bottom prices.
The move followed protests by peers that the Government's plans to change the law would give the green light to gay men to have sex in public toilets.
Planning bosses are set to give the green light to an application by the Brandon Hall Hotel in Brandon Lane to build about 80 extra bedrooms and a new leisure centre.
The cash windfall will be his if investors give the green light to the pounds 12 million deal with US rival
THE male Pill is back in the news - alerting a certain type of woman journalist to write for the 40th time: "Am I alone in thinking that this will give the green light to every irresponsible young man to con impressionable young women into having unprotected sex with them?"
He said: "The first hurdle is out of the way, but there are more ahead before we give the green light."
It now appears that the United States did more than give the green light. It gave the training, as well.
PRIME Minister Tony Blair should "give the green light" to a new generation of nuclear reactors, his chief scientific adviser said yesterday.
LENNOX LEWIS last night urged boxing chiefs to forgive Mike Tyson's latest bout of madness and give the green light to their heavyweight title showdown on April 6.
But officers at Rugby Town Hall are advising members of the borough council's planning committee to give the green light.
Now fun-loving Celts followers are urging their club to join in the crack and give the green light to our blow-up bangers that have captured the imagination of the entire country.
TONY Blair's chief scientific adviser said the PM should "give the green light" to a new generation of nuclear reactors.
Ministers will give the green light for sale of the pill off-prescription within the next few weeks.