see also: SALT, Salt
  • (British) enPR: sŏlt, IPA: /sɒlt/
    • (Conservative RP) enPR: sôlt, IPA: /sɔːlt/
  • (America) enPR sôlt, IPA: /sɔlt/, /sɑlt/
  • (New Zealand) enPR: sŏlt, IPA: /sɔlt/, [sɔɯ̯t]


  1. A common substance, chemically consisting mainly of sodium chloride (NaCl), used extensively as a condiment and preservative.
    • c. 1430 (reprinted 1888), Thomas Austin, ed., Two Fifteenth-century Cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with Extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55 [Early English Text Society, Original Series; 91], London: N. Trübner & Co. for the Early English Text Society, volume I, OCLC 374760 ↗, page 11:
      Soupes dorye. — Take gode almaunde mylke […] caste þher-to Safroun an Salt […]
  2. (chemistry) One of the compounds formed from the reaction of an acid with a base, where a positive ion replaces a hydrogen of the acid.
  3. (uncommon) A salt marsh, a saline marsh at the shore of a sea.
  4. (slang) A sailor (also old salt).
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, chapter 1
      I never go as a passenger; nor, though I am something of a salt, do I ever go to sea as a Commodore, or a Captain, or a Cook.
  5. (cryptography) Randomly chosen bytes added to a plaintext message prior to encrypting or hashing it, in order to render brute-force decryption more difficult.
  6. A person who seeks employment at a company in order to (once employed by it) help unionize it.
  7. (obsolete) Flavour; taste; seasoning.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene iii]:
      Though we are justices and doctors and churchmen […] we have some salt of our youth in us.
  8. (obsolete) Piquancy; wit; sense.
    Attic salt
  9. (obsolete) A dish for salt at table; a salt cellar.
    • I out and bought some things; among others, a dozen of silver salts.
  10. (figurative) Skepticism and common sense.
    Any politician's statements must be taken with a grain of salt, but his need to be taken with a whole shaker of salt.
  11. (Internet slang) Indignation; outrage; arguing.
    There was so much salt in that thread about the poor casting decision.
Related terms Adjective


  1. Salty; salted.
    salt beef;  salt tears
  2. Saline.
    a salt marsh;  salt grass
  3. Related to salt deposits, excavation, processing or use.
    a salt mine
    The salt factory is a key connecting element in the seawater infrastructure.
  4. (figurative, obsolete) Bitter; sharp; pungent.
    • circa 1604 William Shakespeare, Othello, Act III, Scene 4,
      I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me;
  5. (figurative, obsolete) Salacious; lecherous; lustful; (of animals) in heat.
    • 1653, Thomas Urquhart (translator), The Gargantua and Pantagruel of the works of Mr. François Rabelais, Book 2, Chapter 22, p. 153,
      And when he saw that all the dogs were flocking about her, yarring at the retardment of their accesse to her, and every way keeping such a coyle with her, as they are wont to do about a proud or salt bitch, he forthwith departed […]
  6. (colloquial, archaic) Costly; expensive.
Translations Translations
  • French: salin
  • Italian: salino
  • Portuguese: salino
  • Russian: солево́й
  • Spanish: salino
  • Russian: солево́й

salt (salts, present participle salting; past and past participle salted)

  1. (transitive) To add salt to.
    to salt fish, beef, or pork; to salt the city streets in the winter
  2. (intransitive) To deposit salt as a saline solution.
    The brine begins to salt.
  3. To fill with salt between the timbers and planks, as a ship, for the preservation of the timber.
  4. To insert or inject something into an object to give it properties it would not naturally have.
    1. (mining) To blast metal into (as a portion of a mine) in order to cause to appear to be a productive seam.
    2. (archaeology) To add bogus evidence to an archeological site.
  5. To include colorful language in.
  6. (cryptography) To add filler bytes before encrypting, in order to make brute-force decryption more resource-intensive.
Antonyms Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. (politics) Initialism of strategic#English|Strategic arms#English|Arms limitation#English|Limitation talks#English|Talks.

Proper noun
  1. A village in Staffordshire, England.
  2. Surname

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