Color Meaning: Meaning of The Color Green

This post is part of the Color Meaning Blog Series, detailing the meanings associated with colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, black, white, brown, pink, turquoise, gold, silver, and beige.

Meaning of the Color Green

Green, the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment. Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking, ambition, greed, jealousy, and wall street.

The color green has healing power and is understood to be the most restful and relaxing color for the human eye to view. Green can help enhance vision, stability and endurance. Green takes up more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye and it is the dominant color in the natural. It is a natural choice in interior design as an ideal background or backdrop because we as humans are so used to seeing it everywhere.

With the color green’s association with renewal, growth, and hope, often green stands for both a lack of experience and need for growth. Green also stands for new growth and rebirth, common in the spring season when all of the plants are coming back to life with fresh growth and life after the cold winter months.

The color green affects us physically and mentally in several different ways. Green is soothing, relaxing, and youthful. Green is a color that helps alleviate anxiety, depression, and nervousness. Green also brings with it a sense of hope, health, adventure, and renewal, as well as self-control, compassion, and harmony

The green color is often used to indicate safety in the advertising of drugs and medical products. Green is directly related to nature and energy, so it is also commonly used to represent and promote ‘green’ products.

In different cultures green carries different meanings. For example green is the national color of Ireland and is commonly associated with good luck, leprechauns, clovers, and Saint Patrick’s Day. Green also has close ties with Islam.

Too much green can cause people to become placid, lazy, slow, moody, depressed, and lethargic. Too little green can cause feelings of apathy and fear of rejection.

Green gemstones are believed to help create balance, promote change or growth, increase feelings of hopefulness and optimism, and break the emotional demands of others.

Different shades, tints, and hues of green have different meanings. For example, dark green represents greed, ambition, and wealth, while yellow-green stands for sickness, jealousy, and cowardice, and olive green represents the traditional color of peace.

Other meanings associated with the color green:

  • The term “green-eyed monster” refers to a jealous person and the term “green with envy” stands for feelings of jealousy and envy.
  • Green is a restful color with some of the same calming attributes of blue. Like the color blue, time moves faster in a green room.
  • When used in combination with the color red, green is seen as a Christmas color. The colors green and red are also complimentary colors and may seems to vibrate when used together.
  • Depending upon which colors are used in combination with the color green, it has both a warming and a cooling effect.
  • Olive green and several green shades and tints used in camouflage gear have a strong military meaning.
  • Combining green and blue together in a color palette represent nature, including the new growth of the forest and the water. Combining brown and beige with green is often associated with organic or recycled materials.
  • Telling someone they have a “green thumb” means that they are good with plants and gardening.
  • The phrase “green room” refers to the room in a theater or television studio where the guests, experts, or performers go to relax.
  • The expression “greener pastures” and “grass is greener” are used in reference to something newer or better.
  • The phrase “green around the gills” is used when discussing a sickly or pale appearance. Often this description is caused by an upset stomach and the need to throw up.
  • The term “greenback” refers to the United States dollar bill.

Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the color green: emerald, sea green, sea foam, olive, olive drab, pea green, grass green, apple, mint, forest, lawn green, lime, spring green, leaf green, aquamarine, beryl, chartreuse, fir, kelly green, pine, moss, jade, sage, yellow-green, sap, viridian.

About Jennifer Bourn

As Creative Director of Bourn Creative, Jennifer leads all consulting, strategy, and creative projects. She is an award-winning designer, specializing in custom WordPress theme design, brand design, Legos (Yes, Legos), and graphic design for small business.

Entrenched in the world of online business, Jennifer consults with clients around the world on branding, website planning, and marketing strategies that leverage the internet to generate leads, attract clients, and create opportunities. She speaks regularly at live events, conferences, and workshops around the country, as well as on radio shows, teleclases, webinars, and podcasts.

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