adjective sa·lient \ˈsā-lyənt, -lē-ənt\

: very important or noticeable

Full Definition of SALIENT

:  moving by leaps or springs :  jumping
:  jetting upward <a salient fountain>
a :  projecting beyond a line, surface, or level
b :  standing out conspicuously :  prominent; especially :  of notable significance <similar to … Prohibition, but there are a couple of salient differences — Tony Gibbs>
sa·lient·ly adverb

Examples of SALIENT

  1. Then there were those who doubted the need for radio in the first place, since the telegraph was already ubiquitous. Marconi's salient achievement was to realize that radio waves could be transmitted across vast distances, an incalculable step forward in mass communications. —Kevin Baker, New York Times Book Review, 5 Nov. 2006

Origin of SALIENT

Latin salient-, saliens, present participle of salire to leap — more at sally
First Known Use: 1646

Synonym Discussion of SALIENT

noticeable, remarkable, prominent, outstanding, conspicuous, salient, striking mean attracting notice or attention. noticeable applies to something unlikely to escape observation <a piano recital with no noticeable errors>. remarkable applies to something so extraordinary or exceptional as to invite comment <a film of remarkable intelligence and wit>. prominent applies to something commanding notice by standing out from its surroundings or background <a doctor who occupies a prominent position in the town>. outstanding applies to something that rises above and excels others of the same kind <honored for her outstanding contributions to science>. conspicuous applies to something that is obvious and unavoidable to the sight or mind <conspicuous bureaucratic waste>. salient applies to something of significance that merits the attention given it <the salient points of the speech>. striking applies to something that impresses itself powerfully and deeply upon the observer's mind or vision <the region's striking poverty>.


noun sa·lient \ˈsā-lyənt, -lē-ənt\

Definition of SALIENT

:  something (as a promontory) that projects outward or upward from its surroundings; especially :  an outwardly projecting part of a fortification, trench system, or line of defense

Examples of SALIENT

  1. The attempts of the Teutonic armies to envelop and destroy some portion of the Russian forces involved the creation of several dangerous salients in the Russian line, followed by an endeavor to close the neck of each salient by attacks from both sides and so to isolate the armies forming its apex. —Douglas Wilson Johnson, Topography and Strategy in the War, 1917

Origin of SALIENT

(see 1salient)
First Known Use: 1828

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, sally, supernumerary, tactical


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