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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.
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 salvageable
  • Dealers are required to destroy the engine, which makes fewer car parts salvageable for recyclers.
  • Our job is to enter that world with them, pick apart the chaos, and find salvageable pieces to start rebuilding a life.
  • What at first seemed unworkable might, in the end, have been salvageable.
  • Here are ten other highlights of a history of hubris, sprinkled with moments of salvageable genius.
  • Even with all the mistakes seen in hindsight, everything was salvageable.
  • He says the single-pane windows are so bad they're not salvageable nor is the rotten wood siding.
  • If these dogs are determined to be salvageable, the shelters might invite breed rescue groups to come in and take them.
  • Adequate facilities for the cleaning and sanitizing of salvageable merchandise shall be provided.
  • The salvageable material becomes the property of the contractor.
  • The guardrails and bridge railing were not salvageable.
British Dictionary definitions for salvageable


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 salvageable

by 1915, from salvage (v.) + -able. Salvable is from 1660s in reference to souls; 1797 in reference to ships' cargoes.



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 salvageable



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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Encyclopedia Article for salvageable


in maritime law, the rescue of a ship or its cargo on navigable waters from a peril that, except for the rescuer's assistance, would have led to the loss or destruction of the property. Under some jurisdictions, aircraft may also be salved. Except for salvage performed under contract, the rescuer-known as the salvor-must act voluntarily without being under any legal duty to do so, apart from the general duty to give assistance to those in peril at sea or to stand by after a collision. So long as the owner or his agent remains on the ship, unwanted offers of salvage may be refused. A derelict-a vessel found entirely deserted or abandoned without hope or intention of recovery-is, however, fair game for anyone who comes across it. Typical acts of salvage include releasing ships that have run aground or on reefs, raising sunken ships (or their cargo), putting out fires, and so on.

Learn more about salvage with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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