give (one) the green light(redirected from give them the green light)
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
give someone/something the green lightor
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).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer