c.1380, earlier salue
(c.1300), from L. salutare
"to greet," lit. "wish health to," from salus
) "greeting, good health," related to salvus
"safe" (see safe
). The noun is attested from c.1400 as an utterance, gesture, or action of any kind. The military and nautical sense of "display flags, fire cannons, etc., as a mark of respect" is recorded from 1582 (the noun in this sense is from 1698); sense of raising the hand to the cap in the presence of a superior officer is from 1832 (n.), 1844 (v.).