[ sal-ep ]
/ ˈsæl ɛp /


a starchy, demulcent drug or foodstuff consisting of the dried tubers of certain orchids.


Origin of salep

1730–40; < Turkish salep < dialectal Arabic saḥlab, perhaps shortened variant of Arabic khusā al-thaʿlab fox's testicles; cf. saloop Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for salep

British Dictionary definitions for salep


/ (ˈsælɛp) /


the dried ground starchy tubers of various orchids, used for food and formerly as drugs

Word Origin for salep

C18: via French and Turkish from Arabic sahlab, shortened from khusy ath-tha`lab, literally: fox's testicles, name of an orchid
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 salep



1736, "drug from starch or jelly made from dried tubers of orchid-like plants," from Turkish salep, from dialectal pronunciation of Arabic thaeleb, which usually is taken to be a shortening of khasyu 'th-thaeleb, literally "fox's testicles" (cf. native English name dogstones).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper