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[sawlt-sel-er] /ˈsɔltˌsɛl ər/
a shaker or dish for salt.
Origin of saltcellar
late Middle English
1400-50; salt1 + cellar, for earlier saler saltcellar, late Middle English < Old French saliere < Latin salāria, noun use of feminine of salārius (adj.) pertaining to salt, equivalent to sal salt1 + -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for salt cellar
Historical Examples
  • And the name of salt cellar is not less ancient and significant.

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
  • Dont lean on your elbow, or dip your thumb into your drink, or your food into the salt cellar: That is a vice.

  • Then she reached for the salt cellar, dropped a small pinch into the soup, seized the tray and marched out, smiling.

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
  • One such specimen, a salt cellar, is shown in the Mitchell collection.

  • The salt cellar is there in order to enable every one to salt his food according to his own requirements.

  • He did not even frown, but only took a bit of black bread, dipped it in the salt cellar, and chewed it.

    A Family of Noblemen Mikhal Saltykov
  • One's place in relationship to the salt cellar indicated one's status: above or below the salt.

  • salt cellar, that grey and green quadrangle visible from the room assigned to Zuleika, is very beautiful, as I have said.

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
  • The cloisters of salt cellar were piled with arms and stores; and on its grass—its sacred grass!

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
  • Side by side, the great lover and his beloved wandered away, beyond the light of the Japanese lanterns, and came to salt cellar.

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
British Dictionary definitions for salt cellar


a small container for salt used at the table
(Brit, informal) either of the two hollows formed above the collarbones of very slim people
Word Origin
changed (through influence of cellar) from C15 salt saler; saler from Old French saliere container for salt, from Latin salārius belonging to salt, from sal salt
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
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Contemporary definitions for salt cellar

an open container for salt on a dining table


Fancier restaurants have salt cellars rather than salt shakers.

Word Origin

1434; fr Anglo-Norman saler 'salt cellar''s 21st Century Lexicon
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