salient

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The heraldic sense “leaping” and the sense “projecting outward” are borrowed from Latin salientem, the accusative form of saliēns (springing, leaping), present participle of saliō (leap, spring, verb). The senses “prominent” and “pertinent” are relatively recent, and derive from the phrase salient point, which is a calque of the Latin punctum saliēns, a translation of Aristotle's term for the embryonal heart visible in (opened) eggs, which he thought seemed to move already. Compare also the German calque der springende Punkt.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈseɪ.li.ənt/, /ˈseɪ.ljənt/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: sa‧lient

Adjective[edit]

salient (comparative more salient, superlative most salient)

  1. Worthy of note; pertinent or relevant.
    Synonyms: pertinent, relevant; see also Thesaurus:pertinent
    The article is not exhaustive, but it covers the salient points pretty well.
  2. Prominent; conspicuous.
    Antonyms: obscure, trivial
    • 1936, H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Over Innsmouth:
      Warning me that many of the street signs were down, the youth drew for my benefit a rough but ample and painstaking sketch map of the town's salient features.
    • 1834, George Bancroft, History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent
      He [Grenville] had neither salient traits, nor general comprehensiveness of mind.
    • 2018, James Lambert, “A multitude of ‘lishes’: The nomenclature of hybridity”, in English World-Wide[1], page 2:
      Professionally published dictionaries do not seem to have extended coverage beyond the most frequent and salient items.
  3. (heraldry, usually of a quadruped) Depicted in a leaping posture.
    a lion salient
  4. (often military) Projecting outwards, pointing outwards.
    a salient angle
  5. (obsolete) Moving by leaps or springs; jumping.
  6. (obsolete) Shooting or springing out; projecting.
    • 1796, Edmund Burke, A Letter from the Right Honourable Edmund Burke to a Noble Lord, on the Attacks Made upon Him and His Pension, [], 10th edition, London: [] J. Owen, [], and F[rancis] and C[harles] Rivington, [], OCLC 559505243, page 50:
      He had in himſelf a ſalient, living ſpring of generous and manly action.
  7. (geometry) Denoting any angle less than two right angles.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

salient (plural salients)

  1. (military) An outwardly projecting part of a fortification, trench system, or line of defense.
    • 1919, “General Pershing's Story”, in Americans Defending Democracy: Our Soldiers' Own Stories, World's War Stories, Inc., page 9:
      On April 26 the First Division had gone into the line in the Montdidier salient on the Picardy battlefront.
    • 1978, Jan Morris, chapter 9, in Farewell the Trumpets[2], New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, page 193:
      The battlefronts were often no more than a few hundred yards wide, and the salients never more than a few miles deep.
  2. (geography) An elongated protrusion of a geopolitical entity, such as a subnational entity or a sovereign state.
    Synonym: panhandle
    Coordinate terms: enclave, exclave

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

  • sally (cognate; both of these military terms come from a verb meaning "to leap forth", but in different ways)

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Latin[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

salient

  1. third-person plural future active indicative of saliō