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saltire

[sal-teer, -tahyuh r, sawl-]
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noun Heraldry.
  1. an ordinary in the form of a cross with arms running diagonally from the dexter chief to the sinister base and from the sinister chief to the dexter base; St. Andrew's cross.
Idioms
  1. in saltire, (of charges) arranged in the form of a saltire.
  2. per saltire, diagonally in both directions: party per saltire.
Also saltier.

Origin of saltire

1350–1400; Middle English sawtire < Middle French sautoir crossed jumping bar < Medieval Latin saltātōrium something pertaining to jumping; see saltant, -tory2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for saltire

saltire

less commonly saltier

noun
  1. heraldry an ordinary consisting of a diagonal cross on a shield

Word Origin

C14 sawturoure, from Old French sauteour cross-shaped barricade, from saulter to jump, from Latin saltāre
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 saltire

n.

c.1400, an ordinary that resembles a St. Andrew's Cross on a shield or flag, consisting of a bend dexter and a bend sinister crossing each other, from Middle French saultoir, literally "stirrup," from Medieval Latin saltatorium, properly neuter of Latin saltatorius "pertaining to leaping," from salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). The connection between a stirrup and the diagonal cross is perhaps the two deltoid shapes that comprise the cross.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper