Pronunciation: (sôlt),[key] —n. 1. a crystalline compound, sodium chloride, NaCl, occurring as a mineral, a constituent of seawater, etc., and used for seasoning food, as a preservative, etc.
2. table salt mixed with a particular herb or seasoning for which it is named: garlic salt; celery salt. 3. Chem.any of a class of compounds formed by the replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms of an acid with elements or groups, which are composed of anions and cations, and which usually ionize in solution; a product formed by the neutralization of an acid by a base.
4. salts,any of various salts used as purgatives, as Epsom salts.
5. an element that gives liveliness, piquancy, or pungency: Anecdotes are the salt of his narrative. 6. wit; pungency.
7. a small, usually open dish, as of silver or glass, used on the table for holding salt.
8. Informal.a sailor, esp. an old or experienced one.
9. with a grain of salt, with reserve or allowance; with an attitude of skepticism: Diplomats took the reports of an impending crisis with a grain of salt. 10. worth one's salt, deserving of one's wages or salary: We couldn't find an assistant worth her salt.
—v.t. 1. to season with salt.
2. to cure, preserve, or treat with salt.
3. to furnish with salt: to salt cattle. 4. to treat with common salt or with any chemical salt.
5. to spread salt, esp. rock salt, on so as to melt snow or ice: The highway department salted the roads after the storm. 6. to introduce rich ore or other valuable matter fraudulently into (a mine, the ground, a mineral sample, etc.) to create a false impression of value.
7. salt away, a. Also,salt down.to preserve by adding quantities of salt to, as meat.
b. Informal.to keep in reserve; store away; save: to salt away most of one's earnings. 8. salt out, to separate (a dissolved substance) from a solution by the addition of a salt, esp. common salt.
—adj. 1. containing salt; having the taste of salt: salt water. 2. cured or preserved with salt: salt cod. 3. inundated by or growing in salt water: salt marsh. 4. producing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is not sweet, sour, or bitter.
5. pungent or sharp: salt speech.