Color Symbolism and Meaning of Green

Where do you look to find the meaning of green? Is it in the pale yellow-green of newly sprouted blade of grass? Can it be found in the dazzling sparkle of an emerald? Or does green’s meaning reside in the aromatic depth of a drizzly pine forest? Green inspires and vitalizes us in all its hues.

Meaning Of Green: Explained

Green with envy.

Love is evergreen.

"It’s not easy being green."

Green is everywhere. It’s the most common color in the natural world, and it’s second only to blue as the most common favorite color. It’s the color we associate with money, the environment, and aliens, and it’s the color of revitalization and rebirth.

Let’s break down our understanding of the meaning of green.

Physical Effects

What happens to your body in the presence of green? Your pituitary gland is stimulated. Your muscles are more relaxed, and your blood histamine levels increase, which leads to a decrease in allergy symptoms and dilated blood vessels, aiding in smoother muscle contractions. In short, green is calming, stress-relieving, and–a bit paradoxically–invigorating. It’s been shown to improve reading ability and creativity.

Green is calming, stress-relieving, and–a bit paradoxically–invigorating.

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Symbolism And Meaning Of Green

Green stands for balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. It’s the symbol of prosperity, freshness, and progress. The Green Party in the US is inextricably tied to ecological and progressive causes, and a "greenback" is another term for our paper currency.In Japanese culture, green is associated with eternal life, and it is the sacred color of Islam, representing respect and the prophet Muhammad.

Meaning of Green Words
Meaning of Green Defined

Positive Associations

We associate green with vitality, fresh growth, and wealth. We generally think of it as a balanced, healthy, and youthful. We use green in design for spaces intended to foster creativity and productivity, and we associate green with progress–think about giving a project the "green light".

The color meaning  of green is vitality, freshness, growth, wealth, balance, health, & youthfulness.

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Negative Associations

What’s fascinating is that as positive as most of our associations with green are, it carries particular potent negative connotations as well. Someone who feels sick might look "green around the gills," and certain yellow-gray greens have a distinctly unpleasant, institutional feel to them. We link green with envy and with greed, and even the Mr. Yuck sticker intended to warn children away from potentially hazardous chemicals is a bright, eye-catching green.

Green Chakra Color

Chakras are energy centers within the body that help to regulate all its processes. Each chakra governs specific functions and is represented by one of the seven chakra colors.

Chakra Colors Anahata


Green: The color of the Heart chakra, also known as Anahata. This chakra is located at the center of the chest area and is linked to this entire area, the heart, lungs, circulatory system, and cardiac plexus. The Heart Chakra bridges the gap between the physical and spiritual worlds. Opening the Heart chakra allows a person to love more, empathize, and feel compassion. Gemstones that will aid the Heart chakra include emerald, tourmaline, aventurine, malachite, rose quartz, and rhodonite.

Green Birthstone Colors

Green Color Morsels

Only one national flag is a single color. Libya’s solid green flag is one-of-a-kind!

In the 1860s, the US government printed new currency. One side of the bills were printed with green ink to prevent counterfeiting since cameras of the day could only take black and white photographs. Paper currency has henceforth been called "greenbacks." In 1929, when the government regularized the size and denomination of its currency, green ink was chosen because it was both plentiful and durable.

The precious gemstone emerald is a member of the beryl family, and what makes a beryl an emerald is the presence of chromium–the source of the brilliant green hue.

In Japan, the name for both blue and green is the same: "ao."

America's first president, George Washington’s loved the color green so much that he had used it in both the large and small dining rooms in his Mount Vernon home. The color in the smaller dining room is much more vibrant –”In 1785, the striking verdigris #green paint was added.” The guide shares that President Washington was not only fond of this color but believed it was easy on the eye and the best #color to aid in digestion.

Coca-Cola's green-glass container is probably the most famous piece of packaging in American history. In fact, the shape and color of the Coke bottle is so well recognized that it is a registered trademarks of the company.  Knowing that you might be surprised to learn that the green hue had nothing to do with a brilliant product packaging plan but happened by chance. Minerals present in the Fern Cliffs sand (Putnam County, IN) used when the bottles were first manufactured provided a greenish tinge to glass. When Coca-Cola began making bottles in other cities the bottles didn't have the same green tinge to the glass. In order to replicate the original Fern Cliffs/Terre Haute effect of glass with a greenish hue Coca-Cola had to add artificial coloring during the manufacturing process.

Turning the Chicago river a vibrant green to celebrate St. Patrick’s day for the past 40+ years is a tradition unique to the "Windy City".

Harrods, the jewel in the crown of London department stores, wouldn't be Harrods without the famous canopy and "Green Man" at the front door acting as a brand ambassadors, opening doors, and greeting shoppers.

Isbar chickens lay green eggs, ranging in color from olive, to mint, to moss!

A "Green Man" is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit.

Green coffee beans contain an enzyme that can turn any blood type into type O – the universal donor.

The creation of the infamous naturally green beverage, absinthe, goes to the Frenchman Dr. Ordinaire. He crafted a drinkable concoction using local herbs mixed with Artemisia absinthium, or wormwood, to produce an emerald green elixir rumored to cure everything from flatulence to anemia. It gained an international reputation as the drink of choice for artists, writers, and intellectuals.

There are more shades of green than any other color. The inability to distinguish between red and green is the most common form of colorblindness.

Read About the Color Green

Green: The History of a Color
The Secondary Colors: Three Essays
Emeralds: 1000 Green Flowers and 500 Choice Green Foliage Plants

Green Words, Phrases And Idioms

Examples of how the meaning of green colors our language:

  • Get the green light: get approval to move ahead or proceed with a project or task. [See article, Getting the Green Light]
  • Green corn: the young, tender ears of Indian corn.
  • Green thumb (US) or Green fingers (UK): an unusual ability to make plants grow.
  • Green room: a room (in a theater or studio) where performers can relax before or after appearances.
  • Greenback: a legal-tender note issued by the United States government.
  • Greener pastures: something newer or better (or perceived to be better), such as a new job.
  • Green with envy: jealous or envious {See article, Turning Green With Envy}
  • Greenhorn: novice, trainee, beginner {See article, Greenhorn Meaning }
  • Green around the gills: marked by a pale, sickly, or nauseated appearance.
  • Turn green: to look pale and ill as if you are going to vomit.
  • Going green: when someone or something makes changes to help protect the environment, or reduces waste or pollution.

Quotes About Color Green

My father pointed to the moon and asked me what color it was. I couldn’t tell. So he told me to look at the horizon and then glance back quickly at the moon. Then I saw it: it was pale green.

Alden Baker, American painter, b. 1928

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. - Pedro Calderon de la Barca #color #quotes

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Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.

Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish poet and playwright, 1600-1681

He had that curious love of green, which in individuals is always the sign of a subtle artistic temperament, and in nations is said to denote a laxity, if not a decadence of morals.

Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright, novelist, poet, short story writer and freemason, 1854-1900

The artist who pictures sounds as colors, who feels the difference in microns between one sea green and another… is not attending to what the world considers important.

Eric Maisel, American psychotherapist, teacher, author, b. 1947

Green how I want you green. Green wind. Green branches. - Federico García Lorca #color #quotes

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Green how I want you green. Green wind. Green branches.

Federico García Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright, 1898–1936

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.” (as an example of a sentence that is grammatically correct, but semantically nonsensical.)

Noam Chomsky, American linguist and activist, b. 1928

Green represents the dead image of life.

Rudolf Steiner Austrian philosopher, literary scholar, architect, and educator, 1861-1925

Dark green is my favorite color. It's the color of nature and the color of money and the color of moss!

Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor and film producer, b. 1974

In the hierarchy of colors, green represents the social middle class, self-satisfied, immovable, narrow…

Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-born French Expressionist painter, 1866-1944

Absolute green is the most restful color, lacking any undertone of joy, grief, or passion. On exhausted men this restfulness has a beneficial effect, but after a time it becomes tedious.

Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-born French Expressionist painter, 1866-1944

It's not easy being green.

Kermit the Frog, Muppet character created by Jim Henson, b. 1955

Quotes About Color Orange

More Intriguing Facts About Green

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Title - Is There Any Truth Behind This Color Myth?
The Best Green Shutters Ever!

Green As A Signature Color

A signature color is different than a favorite color although for some people they many be one and the same. It is all in how you express yourself with a color and how consistently you wear it or surround yourself with the color that makes it your signature shade.

  • Elizabeth Sweetheart - for more than 20 years, she has dressed head to toe in a bright lime green, with hair dyed to match and has become known as "The Green Lady of Brooklyn."
  • Tommy Greene - The Scot-Irish country publisher and business tycoon has dressed gung-ho green every single day for 42 years. So has his wife, Mary Ellen. Their pea-green house is carpeted, draped, wallpapered, furnished and heavily festooned in green. The same color scheme overwhelms the office of their newspaper business. They even named their daughter Emerald and helped name some of their grandchildren—Kelli, Forest, Hunter, Jade and Matthew JohnDeere according to

Companies & Brands Identified by Green

  • Whole Foods
  • Tropicana
  • Tic Tac
  • Jaguar
  • Land Rover
  • Animal Planet
  • Perrier
  • XBox
  • Holiday Inn
  • Hess
  • SUSE

Cities With Color Names: Green

Here are a few U.S. cities with 'green' in their name:

  • Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Green Grass, South Dakota
  • Green Isle, Minnesota
  • Green, Kansas
  • Green, Ohio
  • Greenfield, California
  • Greenhorn, Oregon
  • Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Greenwich, Connecticut
  • Greenwood, Arkansas
Cities with Color Name

Song that Feature the Color Green

  • All the World Is Green - Tom Waits
  • Blue in Green - Miles Davis
  • Early Morning Blues and Greens - The Monkees
  • Evergreen - Barbra Streisand
  • Evergreen - Switchfoot
  • Everything’s Gone Green - New Order
  • Forty Shades Of Green - Johnny Cash
  • From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea - The Cure
  • Green River - Credence Clearwater Revival
  • Green Onions - Booker T & The M.Gs
  • The Grass is Green - Nelly Furtado
  • Little Green - Joni Mitchell
  • Green, Green, Grass Of Home - Tom Jones

Color And Our Sense Of Smell: Green

It’s not just emotion that makes scent powerful. It’s closely tied to your memories, as well. Smell also plays a major role in our ability to taste. When combined with color those connections become even stronger.

  • The green colored Magic Scents Crayons labeled "Lime" from Binney & Smith Inc. was originally scented to smell like zesty limes. However, after numerous reports that children were "eating" the food-scented crayons the company changed to less tasty options. The scent for the color green became “Eucalyptus.”
  • Lime is a fragrance that is refreshing, uplifting, and purifying. It is an aroma that can be cooling on the hot days of summer.
  • Green, herbal, coniferous, citrus, fresh ingredients that dominate a perfume or are the heart of the mental activity and instigate the creative cognitive process. - Scentbird
  • Rosemary's fragrance may improve memory. - The Scent Report

Color Taste Connection: Green

There are five basic groups of taste, which send signals to our brain to interpret flavor. However, we also send signals with our eyes before we take a bite and give our taste buds a chance to process the flavor. The color can pre-determine how we perceive the taste and flavor of what we eat

  • There are two main types of limes — the more common yellowish green limes, officially known as Persian limes, and the much smaller, deeper green (and higher in acidity) Key lime.
  • Fleshy green spears of asparagus are both succulent and tender and have been considered a delicacy since ancient times.
  • The hearty structure, fresh appearance, and ease of preparation, combined with its exceptional nutritional value, helped to make broccoli one of the favorite vegetables of American consumers.
  • Green tea is rapidly gaining popularity in the western world. Its natural aroma and widely acclaimed health benefits make green tea appealing to both the tea lover and the previously non-tea drinker.

The Color Green In The Garden

  • Green is one of the cooler colors in landscape design and it brings a soothing element to the garden.
  • Green plants visually recede, helping to make a small space appear larger.
  • Green is hardly a boring color in the garden. Combining different shades of green--from chartreuse to silvery blue-green--can create an exciting composition. Remember the importance of foliage texture when working with greens. - New York Botanical Garden

Discover More About The Meaning Of Colors

Color Symbolism and Meaning of Red
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Black
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Gray
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Pink
Color Symbolism and Meaning of White
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Brown
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Orange
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Purple
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Yellow
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Blue

Talk With Us About the Color Green

We'd enjoy knowing what you love about the color green or what you'd like to know about greeen. We love hearing from you and read every comment.

Read Time: 11 min
  • Ken Rivard says:

    I used to associate green with hope and still do.
    Ken Rivard – Author

  • Gregousa says:

    Green is one of the most beautiful colors. We love to read such articles for social media designs. Thank you for your article

  • Lydia says:

    What year was this article published? I need reference it :))

    • Kate Smith says:

      I originally published the basics in 2007 but I have continued to update them even this year. 🙂

  • bilgisitem says:

    Great colours. Thank you so much

  • gyurtalan says:

    I love the green color. It is the color of nature. It gives peace to people. Thank you for your sharing.

  • Christopher says:

    Soft drinks “Sprite, 7up, Canada Dry” Songs “Green Tambourine” The Lemon Pipers. “The Ballet of the Green Berets” S.Sgt Berry Sadler (US Army Special Forces) “Green. Christmas” Bare Naked Ladies. Music group Green Day. Movies “Fried Green Tomatoes” “The Green Mile”.

    • Christopher says:

      Wrigley’s Doublemint gum.

  • Esther says:


    From Google translate: I come from Dashan, which is surrounded by green hills. The city makes me miss the green at that time, the green forest and the green grass, and I can feel the power of life.

  • kyv says:

    When was this Published?

    • Kate Smith says:

      Originally in 2000 in print and it was first published online at the end of 2004. I have updated it many times since that time with new information and to keep it fresh since people keep “borrowing” it in whole or part for their websites. 🙂

  • Vincent says:

    I like green because it wants me to “go” do something good for someone.

  • Linnea says:

    When was this article posted?

    • Kate Smith says:

      Originally in 2000 but it was first published online at the end of 2004. I have updated it many times since that time because people keep “borrowing” it in whole or part for their websites. 🙂

  • Muhammed Zakariya Motara says:

    Muslim believe that the people of paradise will wear green garments

    • Kate Smith says:

      I wasn’t aware of that belief, Muhammed. Thank you for sharing.

  • Faustina says:

    I love green because it is green and its meaning

    • Kate Smith says:

      Hello green lover! We love green, too. Thanks for your comment.

  • Poppy says:

    Very,Very interesting!

    • Kate Smith says:

      I think so too 🙂

  • thewittykat says:

    whenever i see this color,im gonna calmed down.

    • Kate Smith says:

      Yes, green can be very calming especially when you are out in nature.

  • KHOKHA says:

    NO disagreement there at all! nice article, but this contradicts what i ‘ve seen through a brodcast of the world’s strangest superstitions, where green color was reported to be kept out of English peoples’ diet, especially leafy greens such as lettuce. The green color is thought to make men infertile.

    • Kate Smith says:

      I have never heard this an see no research that would indicate it to be true. There are many superstitions related to color but this is not one that I am finding any historical references to. If you have other information please feel free to send my way.

  • John says:

    There is no more awesome of a color than green! Love every shade of green, some more than others! But nothing reminds me of the great out doors than green!! I could go on and on about how awesome the color green truly is!!! But that would take up too much room !! Let’s just say that when we move on to our next journey in life I believe we’re going to experience colors of green we can’t even imagine in our physical work!!!!

    • Kate Smith says:

      I agree. Green is an awesome color! I love your last thought about experiencing color in a whole new way. Cheers, Kate

  • peter says:

    Green is also the main brand colour for SUSE.

    • Kate Smith says:

      Thanks, I’ve added SUSE to the list.

  • MossinAnnie says:

    Every day I enjoy the myriad of greens in my moss garden. Even on cold winter days, the verdant appeal and vast variation of greens offer a sense of peace and serenity. As I write my book on moss gardening, I was curious about the attraction of the color green to others. Thanks for your insights. My motto: Go Green With Mosses!

    • Kate Smith says:

      Moss gardens do have a serenity that so many people find attractive. The peacefulness of green coupled with the soft texture and earthy scent of the moss satisfies our senses. Please let us know more about your book when it is available. ~Kate

  • sadia farha says:

    Green colour is just awesome. Iam a great lover of green…I love grrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnn…..

    • Kate Smith says:

      Green is an awesome color. I’m glad you stopped by and enjoyed my article on green!

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