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Related to greenhorn: novice, Green Hornet


1. An inexperienced or immature person, especially one who is easily deceived.
2. A newcomer, especially one who is unfamiliar with the ways of a place or group.

[Middle English greene horn, horn of a newly slaughtered animal : grene, green; see green + horn, horn; see horn.]


1. an inexperienced person, esp one who is extremely gullible
2. chiefly US a newcomer or immigrant
[C17: originally an animal with green (that is, young) horns]



1. an inexperienced person.
2. a naive or gullible person.
3. a newly arrived immigrant; newcomer.
[1425–75; orig. applied to cattle with green (i.e., young) horns]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.greenhorn - an awkward and inexperienced youthgreenhorn - an awkward and inexperienced youth  
beginner, initiate, tiro, tyro, novice - someone new to a field or activity


noun novice, newcomer, beginner, apprentice, naïf, learner, ingénue, tyro, raw recruit, newbie (slang), neophyte I'm a bit of a greenhorn in the kitchen.


One who is just starting to learn or do something:
Slang: rookie.
References in classic literature ?
He say, said I, that you came near kill-e that man there, pointing to the still shivering greenhorn. Kill-e, cried Queequeg, twisting his tattooed face into an unearthly expression of disdain, ah!
It is, I know, sometimes thought allowable to take in a greenhorn."
Know, you young greenhorn, that I was covered with honours before ever you were born; and you are nothing better than a wretched little worm, torn in two with coughing, and dying slowly of your own malice and unbelief.
"He showed he wasn't all greenhorn, an' he learns pretty quick." Here the farmer chuckled and cut himself a chew from a plug of tobacco.
Mortimer took up her tale, "in the beginning I was a greenhorn, city born and bred.
I am a greenhorn myself, and a fool in her hands--an old fool.
Here, a little knot gathered round a pea and thimble table to watch the plucking of some unhappy greenhorn; and there, another proprietor with his confederates in various disguises--one man in spectacles; another, with an eyeglass and a stylish hat; a third, dressed as a farmer well to do in the world, with his top- coat over his arm and his flash notes in a large leathern pocket- book; and all with heavy-handled whips to represent most innocent country fellows who had trotted there on horseback--sought, by loud and noisy talk and pretended play, to entrap some unwary customer, while the gentlemen confederates (of more villainous aspect still, in clean linen and good clothes), betrayed their close interest in the concern by the anxious furtive glance they cast on all new comers.
This undoubtedly was the "silver with blue stones"; and Father Brown undoubtedly was the little greenhorn in the train.
It spread equally among all classes of citizens-- men of science, shopkeepers, merchants, porters, chair-men, as well as "greenhorns," were stirred in their innermost fibres.
The prime bullies and braves among the free trappers had each his circle of novices, from among the captain's band; mere greenhorns, men unused to Indian life; mangeurs de lard, or pork-eaters; as such new-comers are superciliously called by the veterans of the wilderness.
In short, the natural Frenchman is a conglomeration of commonplace, petty, everyday positiveness, so that he is the most tedious person in the world.--Indeed, I believe that none but greenhorns and excessively Russian people feel an attraction towards the French; for, to any man of sensibility, such a compendium of outworn forms--a compendium which is built up of drawing-room manners, expansiveness, and gaiety--becomes at once over-noticeable and unbearable.
We took no notice of the joking, but acted, after the manner of greenhorns, as though the Coal Tar Maggie required our undivided attention.