saltire

[sal-tir, -tahyuhr, sawl-]
noun Heraldry.
1.
an ordinary in the form of a cross with arms running diagonally from the dexter chief to the sinister base and from the sinister chief to the dexter base; St. Andrew's cross.
Idioms
2.
in saltire, (of charges) arranged in the form of a saltire.
3.
per saltire, diagonally in both directions: party per saltire.
Also, saltier.


Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English sawtire < Middle French sautoir crossed jumping bar < Medieval Latin saltātōrium something pertaining to jumping; see saltant, -tory2

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World English Dictionary
saltire or (less commonly) saltier (ˈsɔːlˌtaɪə)
 
n
heraldry an ordinary consisting of a diagonal cross on a shield
 
[C14 sawturoure, from Old French sauteour cross-shaped barricade, from saulter to jump, from Latin saltāre]
 
saltier or (less commonly) saltier
 
n
 
[C14 sawturoure, from Old French sauteour cross-shaped barricade, from saulter to jump, from Latin saltāre]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

saltire
c.1400, an ordinary on a shield or flag like a St. Andrew's Cross, from M.Fr. saultoir, lit. "stirrup," from M.L. saltatorium, prop. neut. of L. saltatorius "pertaining to leaping," from salire "to leap" (see salient). The connection between a stirrup and the diagonal cross
is perhaps the two deltoid shapes that comprise the cross.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for saltire
Not a cross as such, but a saltire made of bones, with an overlaid skull.
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