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 ©2020 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.