Definition of salt noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sɔːlt//
    , also BrE//sɒlt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɔːlt//
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  1. 1  [uncountable] a white substance that is added to food to give it a better flavour or to preserve it. Salt is obtained from mines and is also found in sea water. It is sometimes called common salt to 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. sea salt see also rock 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. Word OriginOld English sealt (noun), sealtan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zout and German Salz (nouns), from an Indo-European root shared by Latin sal, Greek hals ‘salt’.Extra examples Could you pass the salt, please? Don’t put so much salt on your chips! He could taste the salt from the water in his mouth. He wants to reduce his salt intake. I could smell the salt air as it whipped through my hair. Most foodstuffs contain some salt. When salt is dissolved in water, it alters the properties of the water. a diet low in salt foods with a high salt contentIdioms (old-fashioned, British English, informal) very fast and easily He got through the housework like a dose of salts.
    rub salt into the wound, rub salt into somebody’s wounds
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    to make a difficult experience even more difficult for somebody
    a very good and honest person that you can always depend on
    take something with a 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 pinch of salt.
    deserving respect, especially because you do your job well Any teacher worth her salt knows that.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: salt