American English

Definition of salt noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] a white substance that is added to food to give it a better flavor or to preserve it. Salt is obtained from mines and is also found in ocean water. It is sometimes calledcommon saltto distinguish it from other chemical salts. synonym sodium chloride Pass the salt, please. a pinch of salt (= a small amount of it) Season with salt and pepper. see also rock salt, sea salt
  2. 2[countable] (chemistry) a chemical formed from a metal and an acid mineral salts see also acid salt, Epsom salts
  3. 3salts [plural] a substance that looks or tastes like salt bath salts (= used to give a pleasant smell to bath water) see also smelling salts
  4. Idioms
    rub salt into the wound, rub salt into somebody's wounds
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    to make a difficult experience even more difficult for someone
    the salt of the earth
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    a very good and honest person that you can always depend on
    take something with a grain/pinch of salt
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    to be careful about believing that something is completely true If I were you, I'd take everything he says with a grain of salt.
    worth your/its salt
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    deserving respect, especially because you do your job well Any teacher worth her salt knows that.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: salt