green light(redirected from green lights)
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1. verb To permit someone or something to proceed. Likened to the green light of a traffic signal. Do you think the production company will green light our film?
2. noun Permission to proceed with some action or task. We're just waiting to get the green light from our managers before we release the latest software update.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
green light, the
Permission to go ahead, as in The chief gave us the green light for starting this project. This term originated in the late 1800s for the signal used by railroads to indicate that a train could proceed. It was transferred to more general use in the first half of the 1900s.
See also: green
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
green lightpermission to go ahead with a project.
The green light referred to is the traffic signal indicating that traffic is free to move forward. Red and green lights were in use from the late 19th century in railway signals, but this figurative use of green light appears to date from the mid 20th century.
1997 New Scientist Zemin even got the green light to buy nuclear power plants.
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McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.