hold out an olive branch (to someone)

hold out an olive branch (to someone)

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. (to someone), so as to end a disagreement or dispute. The conservatives in Congress seem to be holding out an 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 an olive branch.
See also: branch, hold, olive, out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hold out an olive branch


offer an olive branch

COMMON If you hold out an olive branch or offer an olive branch to someone, you say or do something to show that you want to end a disagreement with them. We are holding out an olive branch, inviting the landowners to talk to us. The authorities have offered an olive branch to the community. Note: You can say that someone accepts an olive branch if they accept the thing that has been said or done to end the disagreement. It would be some time before he would accept the olive branch offered to him. Note: You can use olive branch to mean an offer of peace or friendship. I think the olive branch will have to come from both sides. He invited the world to choose between the gun and the olive branch. Note: The story of the Flood in the Bible tells how Noah sent out first a raven, then a dove, to see if there was any sign of land. If they found some land, it would mean that God had forgiven man: `And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off; so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.' (Genesis 8:11)
See also: branch, hold, olive, out
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

hold out (or offer) an olive branch

offer a token of peace or goodwill.
A branch of an olive tree is an emblem of peace. In the Bible, it was the token brought by a dove to Noah to indicate that God's anger was assuaged and that the flood had abated (Genesis 8:11).
See also: branch, hold, olive, out
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also: