Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of salient
Meaning of salient by Wiktionary Dictionary



    The heraldic sense "leaping" and the sense "projecting outward" are from Latin saliens, from saliō ( “leap, spring” ). The senses "prominent" and "pertinent" are relatively recently from the phrase "salient point", which is from the Latin punctum saliens, a translation of Aristotle's term for the embryonal heart visible in ( opened ) eggs, which he thought seemed to move already. Compare the German calque der springende Punkt .


    • IPA: /ˈseɪljənt/, X-SAMPA: /"seIlj@nt/
    • Hyphenation: sa‧lient


    salient ( comparative more salient, superlative most salient )

    1. Worthy of note; pertinent or relevant .
      The article is not exhaustive, but it covers the salient points pretty well .
    2. Prominent .
    3. ( heraldry, usually of a quadruped ) Depicted in a leaping posture .
    4. ( often military ) Projecting outwards, pointing outwards .


    1878 18981936ME «15th c.16th c.17th c.18th c.19th c.20th c.21st c.


    Derived terms

    Related terms


    salient ( plural: salients )

    1. ( military ) an outwardly projecting part of a fortification, trench system, or line of defense

    Derived terms


    • elastin, entails, Latines, nail set, saltine, staniel

Explanation of salient by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. having a quality that thrusts itself into attention

    2. salient traits
    3. represented as leaping ( rampant but leaning forward )

    4. ( of angles ) pointing outward at an angle of less than 180 degrees

    1. the part of the line of battle that projects closest to the enemy

    Definition of salient by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Salient a. [L. saliens, -entis, p. pr. of salire to leap; cf. F. saillant. See Sally, n. & v. i..]
      1. Moving by leaps or springs; leaping; bounding; jumping. “Frogs and salient animals.” Sir T. Browne.

      2. Shooting out or up; springing; projecting.

      He had in himself a salient, living spring of generous and manly action. Burke.

      3. Hence, figuratively, forcing itself on the attention; prominent; conspicuous; noticeable.

      He [Grenville] had neither salient traits, nor general comprehensiveness of mind. Bancroft.

      4. ( Math. & Fort. ) Projecting outwardly; as, “a salient angle”; -- opposed to reentering. See Illust. of Bastion.

      5. ( Her. ) Represented in a leaping position; as, “a lion salient”.

      Salient angle. See Salient, a., 4. -- Salient polygon ( Geom. ), a polygon all of whose angles are salient. -- Salient polyhedron ( Geom. ), a polyhedron all of whose solid angles are salient.

    2. Salient, a. ( Fort. ) A salient angle or part; a projection.