sal·a·ry (sălə-rē, sălrē)
n. pl. sal·a·ries
Fixed compensation for services, paid to a person on a regular basis.
[Middle English salarie, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin salārium, salary or stipend paid to a military or civil post holder (probably originally “money given to soldiers for buying salt and other such things, supplementing a grain ration”), from neuter of salārius, relating to salt, from sāl, salt; see sal- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. For the semantic development, compare Greek opsōnion, salary, wages, from opson, relish, fish, or other tasty food to be eaten as accompaniment to bread, and ōneisthai, to buy.]
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:
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.