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[sal-vij] /ˈsæl vɪdʒ/
the act of saving a ship or its cargo from perils of the seas.
the property so saved.
compensation given to those who voluntarily save a ship or its cargo.
the act of saving anything from fire, danger, etc.
the property saved from danger.
the value or proceeds upon sale of goods recovered from a fire.
verb (used with object), salvaged, salvaging.
to save from shipwreck, fire, etc.
Origin of salvage
1635-45; < Old French; see save1, -age
Related forms
salvageable, adjective
salvageability, noun
salvager, noun
nonsalvageable, adjective
unsalvageable, adjective
unsalvageably, adverb
unsalvaged, adjective
Can be confused
salvage, selvage.
7. retrieve, recover, rescue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for salvage
  • When the refund check does come in, several weeks later, it may be too late to salvage their grades for that semester.
  • After a decade of poor planning, the space agency is hoping to salvage what it can.
  • If you want even a chance to salvage your credibility, you might start with practicing what you preach.
  • Now salvage crews are working around the clock to remove containers and pump oil off the ship.
  • And my indefatigable guides scoured antique shops with me to salvage letters that might eventually have been thrown away.
  • Her upper decks were removed during the war for salvage.
  • Unless the team was lucky, finding the money could take months of salvage work.
  • Spent fuel is rich in plutonium and leftover uranium-valuable nuclear material that the plant is designed to salvage.
  • salvage work has long been viewed as a form of legal piracy.
  • Though they are both highly trained deep-sea divers, they play many roles on a salvage job.
British Dictionary definitions for salvage


the act, process, or business of rescuing vessels or their cargoes from loss at sea
  1. the act of saving any goods or property in danger of damage or destruction
  2. (as modifier): a salvage operation
the goods or property so saved
compensation paid for the salvage of a vessel or its cargo
the proceeds from the sale of salvaged goods or property
verb (transitive)
to save or rescue (goods or property) from fire, shipwreck, etc
to gain (something beneficial) from a failure: she salvaged little from the broken marriage
Derived Forms
salvageable, adjective
salvager, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Old French, from Medieval Latin salvāgium, from salvāre to save1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for salvage

1640s, "payment for saving a ship from wreck or capture," from French salvage (15c.), from Old French salver "to save" (see save (v.)). The general sense of "the saving of property from danger" is attested from 1878. Meaning "recycling of waste material" is from 1918, from the British effort in World War I.


1889, from salvage (n.). Related: Salvaged; salvaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for salvage



To steal; loot; liberate (WWI Army)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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