Definition of salami in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈlämē/

noun (plural same or salamis)

1A type of highly seasoned sausage, originally from Italy, usually eaten cold in slices.
Example sentences
  • Village shops that once sold their ham in coffin-shaped tins, now peddle vac-packed slices of salami and prosciutto crudo, and this must surely be a step in the right direction.
  • Between dives, I enjoy the local food - grilled meat and smoked ham, salted pilchards, sheep's cheese, paprika salami, Slavonian spicy sausages and so on.
  • I also scarfed a plate of charcuterie which featured decent chorizo, a peppered salami and some sort of good cured pork loin which reminded me of Corsican lonzo, but could have been from anywhere, I'm no expert.
2 Baseball , informal A grand slam home run.
A play on the word 'slam'


Italian, plural of salame, from a late Latin word meaning 'to salt'.

  • salt from Old English:

    The root of salt is Latin sal, from which words such as salad, salami (mid 20th century), saline (Late Middle English), and sauce derive. A person who is the salt of the earth is kind, reliable, and honest. The phrase comes from St Matthew's Gospel: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?’ The expression sit below the salt, ‘to be of lower social standing’, goes back to the days when formal dinners were more common and when a person's rank determined where they sat at the table. Long dining tables running the length of the room were the norm, and those of the highest rank sat at the top end of the table, with the others arranged in descending order of status along the remaining length. The salt cellar was usually placed halfway down, and so anyone sitting below it knew they were socially inferior. Salt cellar itself has nothing to do with dark underground storage places. The second element was originally saler, which meant ‘salt box’ on its own. It came through Old French from Latin salarium, which also gave us salary—a salarium was originally a Roman soldier's allowance of money to buy salt. As early as the 15th century people did not fully understand saler and added salt in front of it. Finally it became a complete mystery, and they substituted the familiar cellar ( see cell). Before the invention of the refrigerator food was salted, or treated with salt, to preserve it. This is the idea behind salting away money for future use, an expression that dates from the 1840s.

Words that rhyme with salami

army, balmy, barmy, gourami, macramé, origami, palmy, pastrami, smarmy, swami, tsunami, Yanomami

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sa·la·mi

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