salt of the earth

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From Old English a calque translation of verse from New Testament Book of Matthew 5:13


salt of the earth (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic, archaic) A most worthy person.
    • 1611, King James version, Matthew, 5:13
      “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
  2. (idiomatic) A decent, dependable, unpretentious person.
    • 1853; The New York Times; Article 7; May 23, 1953
    • “:Good men are the salt of the earth, and their deeds live after them.”