1. A spicy sauce of chopped, usually uncooked vegetables or fruit, especially tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers, used as a condiment.
a. A genre of Latin American music characterized by Afro-Caribbean rhythms, Cuban big-band arrangements, and elements of jazz and rock.
b. A dance for couples performed to this music.
[American Spanish, from Spanish, sauce, from Old Spanish, from Vulgar Latin *salsa; see SAUCE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.