• (RP) IPA: /səˈl(j)uːt/
  • (GA) IPA: /səˈlut/

salute (plural salutes)

  1. An utterance or gesture expressing greeting or honor towards someone, now especially a formal, non-verbal gesture made with the arms or hands in any of various specific positions. [from 15th c.]
    The soldiers greeted the dignitaries with a crisp salute.
  2. A kiss, offered in salutation. [from 16th c.]
    • 1775, Frances Burney, Journals & Letters, Penguin 2001, 8 May:
      [M]aking an apology which, not suspecting his intention, I did not understand, – he gave me a most ardent salute! I have seldom been more surprised. I had no idea of his taking such a freedom.
  3. (military, nautical) A discharge of cannon or similar arms, as a mark of honour or respect. [from 17th c.]
  4. A pyrotechnic device primarily designed to produce a loud bang.

salute (salutes, present participle saluting; past and past participle saluted)

  1. (ambitransitive) To make a gesture in honor of (someone or something).
    They saluted the flag as it passed in the parade.
    • 1943 June 19, New York Times, quoted in 2000, Terry Eastland, Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court: The Defining Cases, page 64 ↗,
      Yet the simple fact stands that a school child compelled to salute the flag, when he has been taught the flag is an "image" which the Bible forbids him to worship, is in effect made to say what he does not believe.
  2. To act in thanks, honor, or tribute; to thank or extend gratitude; to praise.
    I would like to salute the many dedicated volunteers that make this project possible.
  3. (Ireland, informal) to wave, to acknowledge an acquaintance.
    I saluted Bill at the concert, but he didn't see me through the crowd.
  4. To address, as with expressions of kind wishes and courtesy; to greet; to hail.
  5. To promote the welfare and safety of; to benefit; to gratify.
  6. (archaic) To kiss.
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 220:
      Twice indeed with rapture, which once she called rude, did I salute her; and each time, resenting the freedom, did she retire […] .
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