sa·​lience | \ ˈsā-lyən(t)s How to pronounce salience (audio) , -lē-ən(t)s\

Definition of salience

1 : the quality or state of being salient
2 : a striking point or feature : highlight

Examples of salience in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His subject, the vexing American race question, retains a towering and tragic salience. Dallas News, "A black author grapples with his own racism in 'How to Be an Antiracist'," 26 Aug. 2019 If the poor aren’t responding to the incentive, there is likely a salience problem — exactly the sort of challenge a robust public education campaign can combat. Stephen L. Carter, Twin Cities, "Stephen L. Carter: Get off the bandwagon of banning plastic bags," 7 Aug. 2019 If anything, the Democrats’ (extremely in-character) insistence on painting this as a National Security Issue downplays the political salience of pointing out that electoral chaos simply serves partisan Republican ends. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "The Simple, Odious Reason Mitch McConnell Opposes Election Integrity," 31 July 2019 His committee’s hearing, on how the Department of Homeland Security uses facial recognition and other biometrics, had been scheduled for some time, but news that broke on July 7th gave it extra salience. The Economist, "America mulls regulating facial recognition," 11 July 2019 But social democracy’s watering down or even abandonment of its previous economic profile also helped the populist right in another way: by increasing the salience of social issues in political competition. Sheri Berman, Vox, "The development and decay of democracy," 18 June 2019 Too much activity in the salience network can also be problematic. Quanta Magazine, "Inside a Brain Circuit, the Will to Press On," 5 Dec. 2013 The question has fresh salience as America’s Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission divvy up which agency will handle possible antitrust investigations of companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon. The Economist, "Regulating Big Tech makes them stronger, so they need competition instead," 6 June 2019 And this means of stymying the Mueller investigation would be of lower salience than actually firing him while producing some similar benefits. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Matt Whitaker suggested the attorney general might keep Robert Mueller’s conclusions secret forever," 7 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'salience.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of salience

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for salience

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for salience

The first known use of salience was in 1836

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More from Merriam-Webster on salience

Nglish: Translation of salience for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of salience for Arabic Speakers

Comments on salience

What made you want to look up salience? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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