From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Traffic lights display green to indicate "go ahead".

To green-light is to give permission or a go ahead to move forward with a project.[1] The term is a reference to the green traffic signal, indicating "go ahead."

In the context of the film and television industries, to green-light something is to formally approve its production finance, and to commit to this financing, thereby allowing the project to move forward from the development phase to pre-production and principal photography.

The power to green-light a project is generally reserved to those in a project or financial management role within an organization. The process of taking a project from pitch to green light formed the basis of a successful reality TV show titled Project Greenlight.[2]

Other uses of the term[edit]

In baseball, the term "green-light" means a manager has given a player permission to be aggressive, especially in situations involving baserunning.[citation needed]

In organized crime, gang, and prison slang, to "green-light" a person is to authorize his or her assassination. An example of this use of the word can be found in the film Felon (2008), spoken by Val Kilmer's character, John Smith.[3] Another use occurs in the film End of Watch (2012), when a gang member warns two police officers they have been green-lit.

In the novel The Great Gatsby, a green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan's dock in the old money East Egg is barely visible across the lake from Jay Gatsby's mansion in nouveau riche West Egg.[4] The green light famously symbolized hope and the American dream, a struggle for success and happiness.[5]


  1. ^ "Green light (dictionary definition)". Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  2. ^ "Green light". HBO. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  3. ^ "Felon". The Sam Sheppard Web Site. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ "SparkNotes: The Great Gatsby: Themes, Motifs & Symbols". SparkNotes. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Rimer, Sara (17 February 2008). "Gatsby’s Green Light Beckons a New Set of Strivers". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2012.