Word of the Day Archive
Friday July 16, 2004
salient \SAY-lee-unt; SAYL-yunt\
1. Shooting out or up; projecting.
2. Forcing itself on the attention; prominent; conspicuous; noticeable.
3. Leaping; springing; jumping.
1. An outwardly projecting part of a fortification, trench system, or line of defense.
2. A projecting angle or part.
He was killed during an attack on German positions dug into Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres salient.
-- Russell Jenkins and Stephen Farrell, "Search begins for family of Flanders fusilier", Times (London), January 10, 2000
He gave science an exciting, positive image when many Americans were skeptical of it, worried that its most salient effect was to disenchant the universe and undercut religion.
-- David A. Hollinger, "Star Power", New York Times, November 28, 1999
The strength of the hypothesis is that it simultaneously explains all these salient features, none of which had satisfactory independent explanations.
-- Paul F. Hoffman and Daniel P. Schrag, "Snowball Earth", Scientific American, January 2000
Salient derives from the present participle of Latin salire, to leap. Other words deriving from salire are sally, to leap forth or rush out suddenly; and perhaps salmon, the "leaping" fish.