salad days

a period of youthful inexperience: a man who never lost the immature attitudes of his salad days.

1600–10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
salad days
pl n
a period of youth and inexperience
[allusion to Antony and Cleopatra (1.v.73) by William Shakespeare: ``my salad days When I was green in judgment, cold in blood'']

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

salad days definition

A time of youth and inexperience; often, a better and more innocent time. The expression comes from William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, where Cleopatra says her early infatuation with Julius Caesar was foolish: “My salad days, when I was green in judgment.” (“Green” refers both to inexperience and to the color of a salad.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

salad days

The time of youth, innocence, and inexperience, as in Back in our salad days we went anywhere at night, never thinking about whether it was safe or not. This expression, alluding to the greenness of inexperience, was probably invented by Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra (1:5), when Cleopatra, now enamored of Antony, speaks of her early admiration for Julius Caesar as foolish: "My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Indeed the events of her later life were as dramatic as those of her salad days.
The salad days of summer are the payoff for living through months of rain.
But even if your salad days are long gone, your school days do not have to be.
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