Meaning of SALT in English


I. ˈsȯlt noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sealt; akin to Old High German salz salt, Lithuanian saldus sweet, Latin sal salt, Greek hals salt, sea

Date: before 12th century


a. : a crystalline compound NaCl that consists of sodium chloride, is abundant in nature, and is used especially to season or preserve food or in industry — called also common salt

b. : a substance (as Glauber's salt) resembling common salt

c. plural

(1) : a mineral or saline mixture (as Epsom salts) used as an aperient or cathartic

(2) : smelling salts

d. : any of various compounds that result from replacement of part or all of the acid hydrogen of an acid by a metal or a group acting like a metal : an ionic crystalline compound

2. : a container for salt at table — often used in the phrases above the salt and below the salt alluding to the former custom of seating persons of higher rank above and those of lower rank below a saltcellar placed in the middle of a long table


a. : an ingredient that gives savor, piquancy, or zest : flavor

a people…full of life, vigor, and the salt of personality — Clifton Fadiman

b. : sharpness of wit : pungency

c. : common sense

d. : reserve , skepticism — usually used in the phrases with a grain of salt and with a pinch of salt

e. : a dependable steadfast person or group of people — usually used in the phrase salt of the earth

4. : sailor

a tale worthy of an old salt

5. : keep 3 — usually used in the phrase worth one's salt

• salt·like -ˌlīk adjective

II. transitive verb

Date: before 12th century


a. : to treat, provide, or season with common salt

b. : to preserve (food) with salt or in brine

c. : to supply (as an animal) with salt

2. : to give flavor or piquancy to (as a story)


a. : to enrich (as a mine) artificially by secretly placing valuable mineral in some of the working places

b. : to add something to secretly

salt ed the files with forged papers

also : to insert or place secretly

salt ed the mines along the road


a. : to sprinkle with or as if with a salt

b. : scatter , intersperse

• salt·er ˈsȯl-tər noun

III. adjective

Date: before 12th century


a. : saline , salty

b. : being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is suggestive of seawater — compare bitter , sour , sweet

2. : cured or seasoned with salt : salted

salt cod

3. : overflowed with salt water

a salt pond

4. : sharp , pungent

• salt·ness noun

IV. adjective

Etymology: by shortening & alteration from assaut, from Middle English, from Anglo-French en saut in rut

Date: 1598

obsolete : lustful , lascivious

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.