• synonyms

salt of the earth

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  1. an individual or group considered as representative of the best or noblest elements of society.
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Origin of salt of the earth

1350–1400; Middle English; after Matthew 5:13
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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salt of the earth in Culture

salt of the Earth

Basic, fundamental goodness; the phrase can be used to describe any simple, good person: “I like Mary: she's reliable, trustworthy, and straightforward; she's the salt of the Earth.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his followers, who are mainly fishermen and other simple people, “Ye are the salt of the Earth.”

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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.