Definition of salient in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈseɪlɪənt/


1Most noticeable or important: it succinctly covered all the salient points of the case
More example sentences
  • He does not neglect the contribution of blues singers to the body of railroad songs, and in fact he discusses the salient features of the blues genre and its importance in commercial recordings.
  • The crisp presentation outlined all the salient features of broadband technology, notably cheaper downloads and smoother surfing.
  • What were the most salient features of the impeachment crisis and its most important political lessons?
important, main, principal, major, chief, primary, notable, noteworthy, outstanding, arresting, conspicuous, striking, noticeable, obvious, remarkable, signal, prominent, pronounced, predominant, dominant, key, crucial, vital, essential, basic, staple, critical, pivotal, prime, central, focal, paramount
1.1Prominent; conspicuous: the salient object in my view
More example sentences
  • And there are many such places in Karnataka which have salient features to be developed into potential centres of growth.
  • Narrow lanes, leaky ceilings and weak walls with a number of cracks are the salient features of the ‘new’ quarters.
  • The second most salient feature of primary forest indicated by habitat classification freelists was humidity.
2(Of an angle) pointing outwards. The opposite of re-entrant.
Example sentences
  • A radial tire for heavy road vehicles comprises a tread formed with wide circumferential zigzag grooves. The sides of the grooves form angles that are alternately salient and reentrant, and the zigzag of at least one of the grooves has its amplitude reduced by a lateral shift of the salient angles along at least one side of the groove.
  • Where the salient angle occurs it is plain that it will be more subject to the effect of the water on the side which opposes the current, than on that which declines from it.
3 [postpositive] Heraldry (Of an animal) standing on its hind legs with the forepaws raised, as if leaping.
Example sentences
  • Their seal bore as its device a demi-fox salient, with a motto on a ribbon "Liberté toute entière".
  • On the middle pillar of the canopy-work are the arms of this knight, a lion salient, impaling a spread eagle, the arms of his lady.


1A piece of land or section of fortification that juts out to form an angle.
Example sentences
  • Had the wall run due north from this point on the upper terrace, the area enclosed would have been overlooked by a salient of the terrace to the east, creating a point of great vulnerability.
1.1An outward bulge in a line of military attack or defence: this decisive battle broke the Germans' ability to attack any further into the Kursk salient
More example sentences
  • As Jones reveals, however, even the military brass gave only scant thought to how to actually secure the salients they planned to capture - and this lack of foresight doomed the operation from the start.
  • Though the weather after 5 July was essentially clear, it worked against the German army during the critical initial advance into the Kursk salient.
  • The Allied command planned to clear the salient of Germans along a 20 mile front.



Example sentences
  • The ‘lead story ‘on the networks is likely to have a great deal of public saliency, helping to define central issues, and creating a kind of shared focus of attention, for many millions of people.’
  • Naturally, many Indian artists, viewers, galleries, and collectors are haunted by the question: Why has Indian art not yet gained global saliency?
  • Because of their saliency, decisions about international economic policy will not be left to the private sector or to faceless technocrats; they will be a matter of concern for political leaders and their constituencies.


Example sentences
  • In effect, solving the development problem in Africa requires the crafting of political institutions that limit the discretion and authority of government and, more saliently, of individual actors within the government.
  • The ideological intervention of teachers and other educators and cultural workers is likely to have a different impact than that of sections of the workforce less saliently engaged in ideological production and reproduction.
  • Molly may address us from a psychiatric hospital, yet the intelligence and insight of her monologues, most saliently when they describe her mental state, argue for her sanity.


Mid 16th century (as a heraldic term): from Latin salient- 'leaping', from the verb salire. The noun dates from the early 19th century.

  • This was first used as a heraldic term meaning ‘leaping’. It comes from Latin salire ‘to leap’. The sense ‘outstanding, significant’ as in salient point is found from the mid 19th century. Salire is behind many other English words including assail and assault (Middle English) ‘jumping on’ people; exult (late 16th century) ‘jump up’; insult; and result (Late Middle English) originally meaning ‘to jump back’. Salacious (mid 17th century) ‘undue interest in sexual matters’ is based on Latin salax, from salire. Its basic sense is ‘fond of leaping’, but as the word was used of stud animals it came to mean ‘lustful’. From the French form of salire come to sally out (mid 16th century) and sauté (early 19th century).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sa¦li|ent

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