See more synonyms for salty on
adjective, salt·i·er, salt·i·est.
  1. tasting of or containing salt; saline.
  2. piquant; sharp; witty.
  3. racy or coarse: salty humor.
  4. of the sea, sailing, or life at sea.

Origin of salty

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at salt1, -y1
Related formssalt·i·ly, adverbsalt·i·ness, nouno·ver·salt·y, adjectiveun·salt·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for saltiness

Contemporary Examples of saltiness

  • Mix thoroughly and taste; depending on the saltiness of the anchovy and capers, more salt may be desired.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Top Chefs Stay Thin

    Rachel Syme

    December 15, 2009

  • The saltiness of ricotta salata and olives make this simple root vegetable a meal.

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    What to Eat: Winter Salads

    December 1, 2009

Historical Examples of saltiness

British Dictionary definitions for saltiness


adjective saltier or saltiest
  1. of, tasting of, or containing salt
  2. (esp of humour) sharp; piquant
  3. relating to life at sea
Derived Formssaltily, adverbsaltiness, noun
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 saltiness

1660s, from salty + -ness.



mid-15c., "tasting of salt, impregnated with salt," from salt (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "racy" is from 1866, from salt in the sense of "that which gives life or pungency" (1570s, originally of words or wit). Meaning "racy, sexy" is from 1866. U.S. slang sense of "angry, irritated" is first attested 1938 (probably from similar use with regard to sailors, "tough, aggressive," attested by 1920), especially in phrase jump salty "to unexpectedly become enraged." Related: Saltily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper