|1.||a white powder or colourless crystalline solid, consisting mainly of sodium chloride and used for seasoning and preserving food|
|2.||(modifier) preserved in, flooded with, containing, or growing in salt or salty water: salt pork; salt marshes|
|3.||chem any of a class of usually crystalline solid compounds that are formed from, or can be regarded as formed from, an acid and a base by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms in the acid molecules by positive ions from the base|
|4.||liveliness or pungency: his wit added salt to the discussion|
|5.||dry or laconic wit|
|6.||a sailor, esp one who is old and experienced|
|7.||short for saltcellar|
|8.||rub salt into someone's wounds to make someone's pain, shame, etc, even worse|
|9.||salt of the earth a person or group of people regarded as the finest of their kind|
|10.||with a grain of salt, with a pinch of salt with reservations; sceptically|
|11.||worth one's salt efficient; worthy of one's pay|
|—vb (often foll by down |
|12.||to season or preserve with salt|
|13.||to scatter salt over (an icy road, path, etc) to melt the ice|
|14.||to add zest to|
|15.||to preserve or cure with salt or saline solution|
|16.||chem to treat with common salt or other chemical salt|
|17.||to provide (cattle, etc) with salt|
|18.||to give a false appearance of value to, esp to introduce valuable ore fraudulently into (a mine, sample, etc)|
|19.||not sour, sweet, or bitter; salty|
|20.||obsolete rank or lascivious (esp in the phrase a salt wit)|
|[Old English sealt; related to Old Norse, Gothic salt, German Salz, Lettish sāls, Latin sāl, Greek hals]|
|salt away or (less commonly) salt down|
|(tr, adverb) to hoard or save (money, valuables, etc)|
|salt down or (less commonly) salt down|
A colorless or white crystalline solid, chiefly sodium chloride, used extensively as a food seasoning and preservative.
A chemical compound replacing all or part of the hydrogen ions of an acid with metal ions or electropositive radicals.
salts Smelling salts.
salts Epsom salts.
salt [%PREMIUM_LINK%] (sôlt) Pronunciation Key |
used to season food (Job 6:6), and mixed with the fodder of cattle (Isa. 30:24, "clean;" in marg. of R.V. "salted"). All meat-offerings were seasoned with salt (Lev. 2:13). To eat salt with one is to partake of his hospitality, to derive subsistence from him; and hence he who did so was bound to look after his host's interests (Ezra 4:14, "We have maintenance from the king's palace;" A.V. marg., "We are salted with the salt of the palace;" R.V., "We eat the salt of the palace"). A "covenant of salt" (Num. 18:19; 2 Chr. 13:5) was a covenant of perpetual obligation. New-born children were rubbed with salt (Ezek. 16:4). Disciples are likened unto salt, with reference to its cleansing and preserving uses (Matt. 5:13). When Abimelech took the city of Shechem, he sowed the place with salt, that it might always remain a barren soil (Judg. 9:45). Sir Lyon Playfair argues, on scientific grounds, that under the generic name of "salt," in certain passages, we are to understand petroleum or its residue asphalt. Thus in Gen. 19:26 he would read "pillar of asphalt;" and in Matt. 5:13, instead of "salt," "petroleum," which loses its essence by exposure, as salt does not, and becomes asphalt, with which pavements were made. The Jebel Usdum, to the south of the Dead Sea, is a mountain of rock salt about 7 miles long and from 2 to 3 miles wide and some hundreds of feet high.
Also, salt down. Keep in reserve, store, save, as in He salted away most of his earnings in a bank account. This idiom alludes to using salt as a food preservative. [Mid-1800s]