- a medicinal ointment for healing or relieving wounds and sores.
- anything that soothes, mollifies, or relieves.
- to soothe with or as if with salve; assuage: to salve one's conscience.
Origin of salve1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to save from loss or destruction; to salvage.
Origin of salve2
Origin of salve3
Examples from the Web for salve
Its readership expands in times when more of us need its particular brand of salve.What the Forward Prize Doesn’t Recognize About Poets
July 13, 2014
His only salve has been counting down the days until graduation.Mormon U. Forces Gays to Be Celibate
May 13, 2014
Then came remedies: the powder, the salve, the wondrous elixir.New Study Says Doctors Can’t “Just Say No” to Their Patients
March 31, 2014
“Anything that tries to solve an issue in Northern Ireland, to put a salve on it, tends to enflame the situation,” he said.Belfast in Chaos After Days of Protestant Rioting, Police Injuries
July 16, 2013
In France, we are supposed to salve our consciences with the knowledge that draft horses are raised to be eaten.My Horsemeat Lunch
February 27, 2013
He spoke with the sureness of a man of wealth, confident that money will salve any wound.Within the Law
And this time the thing he wanted was to get the dervish to rub some of the salve on his other eye.Tom Sawyer Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
And he hollered the first thing that "he wanted some of Hall's salve."Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 2.
Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
His wounded pride demanded a salve to be procured at any cost.The Snare
But Gage was endeavoring to salve his smart and conceal his own shame.The Siege of Boston
- an ointment for wounds, sores, etc
- anything that heals or soothes
- to apply salve to (a wound, sore, etc)
- to soothe, comfort, or appease
Word Origin and History for salve
Old English sealf "healing ointment," from West Germanic *salbo- "oily substance" (cf. Old Saxon salba, Middle Dutch salve, Dutch zalf, Old High German salba, German salbe "ointment"), from PIE *solpa-, from root *selp- "fat, butter" (cf. Greek elpos "fat, oil," Sanskrit sarpis "melted butter"). The figurative sense of "something to soothe wounded pride, etc." is from 1736.
Old English sealfian "anoint (a wound) with salve," from Proto-Germanic *salbojanan (cf. Dutch zalven, German salben, Gothic salbon "to anoint"), from the root of salve (n.). Figurative use from c.1200. Related: Salved; salving.
"to save from loss at sea," 1706, back-formation from salvage (n.) or salvable. Related: Salved; salving.
- An analgesic or medicinal ointment.