salt of the earth


noun

an individual or group considered as representative of the best or noblest elements of society.

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. 2019


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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.”

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.