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salon

[suh-lon; French sa-lawn]
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noun, plural sa·lons [suh-lonz; French sa-lawn] /səˈlɒnz; French saˈlɔ̃/.
  1. a drawing room or reception room in a large house.
  2. an assembly of guests in such a room, especially an assembly, common during the 17th and 18th centuries, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, etc.
  3. a hall or place used for the exhibition of works of art.
  4. a shop, business, or department of a store offering a specific product or service, especially one catering to a fashionable clientele: a dress salon; a hair salon.
  5. (initial capital letter) (in France)
    1. the Salon,an annual exhibition of works of art by living artists, originally held at the Salon d'Apollon: it became, during the 19th century, the focal point of artistic controversy and was identified with academicism and official hostility to progress in art.
    2. a national exhibition of works of art by living artists: Salon des Refusés; Salon des Indépendants.

Origin of salon

1705–15; < French < Italian salone, equivalent to sal(a) hall (< Germanic; compare Old English sæl, Old Saxon seli, German Saal, Old Norse salr) + -one augmentative suffix
Can be confusedsalon saloon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for salon

salon

noun
  1. a room in a large house in which guests are received
  2. an assembly of guests in a fashionable household, esp a gathering of major literary, artistic, and political figures from the 17th to the early 20th centuries
  3. a commercial establishment in which hairdressers, beauticians, etc, carry on their businessesbeauty salon
    1. a hall for exhibiting works of art
    2. such an exhibition, esp one showing the work of living artists

Word Origin

C18: from French, from Italian salone, augmented form of sala hall, of Germanic origin; compare Old English sele hall, Old High German sal, Old Norse salr hall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for salon

n.

1690s, "large room or apartment in a palace or great house," from French salon "reception room" (17c.), from Italian salone "large hall," from sala "hall," from a Germanic source (cf. Old English sele, Old Norse salr "hall," Old High German sal "hall, house," German Saal), from Proto-Germanic *salaz, from PIE *sel- (1) "human settlement" (cf. Old Church Slavonic selo "courtyard, village," Polish siolo, Russian selo "village," Lithuanian sala "village").

Sense of "reception room of a Parisian lady" is from 1810; meaning "gathering of fashionable people" first recorded 1888 (the woman who hosts one is a salonnière). Meaning "annual exhibition of contemporary paintings and sculpture in Paris" is from its originally being held in one of the salons of the Louvre. Meaning "establishment for hairdressing and beauty care" is from 1913.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

salon in Culture

salon

A periodic gathering of persons noted in literature, philosophy, the fine arts, or similar areas, held at one person's home. Salons thrived in the Enlightenment.

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