hold out an/the olive branch

(redirected from holds out the olive branch)

hold out an/the olive branch

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc., so as to end a disagreement or dispute. 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. I was still hurt by the way my parents had lied to me, but I decided to hold out an olive branch by going home for Christmas.
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

hold out the olive branch

Fig. to offer to end a dispute and be friendly; to offer reconciliation. (The olive branch is a symbol of peace and reconciliation. A biblical reference.) Jill was the first to hold out the olive branch after our argument. I always try to hold out the olive branch to someone I have offended. Life is too short for a person to bear grudges for very long.
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

hold out an olive branch

or

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