- prominent or conspicuous: salient traits.
- projecting or pointing outward: a salient angle.
- leaping or jumping: a salient animal.
- Heraldry. (of a beast) represented as leaping: a lion salient.
- a salient angle or part, as the central outward-projecting angle of a bastion or an outward projection in a battle line.
- Physical Geography. a landform that extends out beyond its surroundings, as a spur projecting from the side of a mountain.Compare reentrant(def 4).
Origin of salient
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for salient
He is also known as El H, but of all his nicknames El Elegante is the most salient.Trading Dime Bags for Salvador Dali
October 19, 2014
One salient example was Ilyas Kashmiri, one of the highest-ranking al Qaeda commanders.Al Qaeda’s Desperation Could Be India’s Nightmare
September 6, 2014
But in the aggregate, immigration reform is not a salient issue for white evangelicals.Even Conservative Evangelical Support Couldn’t Save Immigration Reform
July 6, 2014
When I sit down someday to write my memoirs and try to characterize this era, I will note three salient political features.Karl Rove May Be Evil, but He’s No Genius
May 15, 2014
One salient moment in the book comes during a meeting with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.Speed Read: The Juiciest Bits From Timothy Geithner’s New Memoir
May 13, 2014
The point of this salient was at St. Mihiel, the other side of the Meuse.
On the eastern side of the salient there were five distinct attacks.
Here the Germans had a salient which was long and quite narrow.
The French did not plan to make an attack on the salient at its apex.
Plava was in a salient occupying about the middle of the Austrian line.
- military a projection of the forward line into enemy-held territory
- a salient angle
Word Origin and History for salient
1560s, "leaping," a heraldic term, from Latin salientem (nominative saliens), present participle of salire "to leap," from PIE root *sel- (4) "to jump" (cf. Greek hallesthai "to leap," Middle Irish saltraim "I trample," and probably Sanskrit ucchalati "rises quickly").
It was used in Middle English as an adjective meaning "leaping, skipping." The meaning "pointing outward" (preserved in military usage) is from 1680s; that of "prominent, striking" first recorded 1840, from salient point (1670s), which refers to the heart of an embryo, which seems to leap, and translates Latin punctum saliens, going back to Aristotle's writings. Hence, the "starting point" of anything.
1828, from salient (adj.).