grain of salt

noun phrase

variants or less commonly pinch of salt
: a skeptical attitude
used in the phrase take (something) with a grain/pinch of salt
I take the guidebooks with a grain of salt, preferring to follow my instincts.Daisann McLane
The malleability of memory … is the first reason why autobiographies should be taken with a grain of salt.Judith Rich Harris

Examples of grain of salt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Across Wall Street, investors have had to take every major release of economic data with a grain of salt over the last year. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 3 May 2024 Also, take the temperature rating with a grain of salt. Scott Gilbertson Gear Team, WIRED, 28 Apr. 2024 Their findings, according to a recent article on, have yet to be peer-reviewed, so take them with a grain of salt. Marina Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 7 Apr. 2024 Take customer reviews with a grain of salt when deciding which appetite suppressant is right for you. Weight Loss Advisors, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 And certain suggestions in the paper come with a large grain of salt, including a theory that drugs used to help cancer patients’ bodies destroy tumor cells could also help people with ME/CFS finally beat their infections. Isabella Cueto, STAT, 21 Feb. 2024 While the higher the mAh battery specification the better, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Ken Colburn, The Arizona Republic, 1 Apr. 2024 But those were exhibitions, not always against the top competition, and worth taking with a grain of salt. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 31 Mar. 2024 Expanding on his perspective regarding public opinion, O'Neal tells PEOPLE he's learned to take feedback with a grain of salt. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 14 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'grain of salt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1647, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grain of salt was in 1647

Dictionary Entries Near grain of salt

Cite this Entry

“Grain of salt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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