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grain of salt


skepticism, reservation

Word Origin

Latin cum grano salis, based on antidote to poison needing a grain of salt to work

Usage Note

used with 'with a''s 21st Century Lexicon
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grain of salt in Culture

grain of salt definition

To “take something with a grain of salt” is to view a statement with a skeptical attitude. “She took the claim that he didn't want to be president with a grain of salt.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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