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SALT (sôlt)
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abbr.
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
salt (sôlt)
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n.
1. A usually whitish crystalline solid, chiefly sodium chloride, used extensively in ground or granulated form as a food seasoning and preservative. Also called common salt, table salt.
2. An ionic chemical compound formed by replacing all or part of the hydrogen ions of an acid with metal ions or other cations.
3. salts Any of various mineral salts used as laxatives or cathartics.
4. salts Smelling salts.
5. often salts Epsom salts.
6. An element that gives flavor or zest.
7. Sharp lively wit.
8. Informal A sailor, especially when old or experienced.
9. A saltcellar.
adj.
1. Containing or filled with salt: a salt spray; salt tears.
2. Having a salty taste or smell: breathed the salt air.
3. Preserved in salt or a salt solution: salt mackerel.
4.
a. Flooded with seawater.
b. Found in or near such a flooded area: salt grasses.
tr.v. salt·ed, salt·ing, salts
1. To add, treat, season, or sprinkle with salt.
2. To cure or preserve by treating with salt or a salt solution.
3. To provide salt for (deer or cattle).
4. To add zest or liveliness to: salt a lecture with anecdotes.
5. To give an appearance of value to by fraudulent means, especially to place valuable minerals in (a mine) for the purpose of deceiving.
Phrasal Verbs:
salt away
To put aside; save.
salt out
To separate (a dissolved substance) by adding salt to the solution.
Idioms:
salt of the earth
1. A person or group considered as embodying simplicity and moral integrity.
2. Archaic A person or group considered the best or most worthy part of society.
worth (one's) salt
Efficient and capable.

[Middle English, from Old English sealt; see sal- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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