sal·sa | \ˈsȯl-sə, ˈsäl-\

Definition of salsa 

1 : a usually spicy sauce of chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers that is commonly served with Mexican food also : a similar sauce made with a main ingredient other than tomatoes peach salsa

2 : popular music of Latin American origin that has absorbed characteristics of rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock

Examples of salsa in a Sentence

The band was playing salsa. We're taking classes in salsa.

Recent Examples on the Web

Almost everything else here also gets made from scratch, including a gamut of red and green salsas. James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "Boise’s trendy new taquerias redefine the taco – and diners get to taste the difference," 27 June 2018 There’s loud salsa music playing, and just a few feet away, the sun shines bright upon the surface of the ocean. Laia Garcia, Bon Appetit, "Home Is Where the Manteca Is: A Visit to Piñones in Puerto Rico," 6 June 2018 Events Bay Street Salsa Sundays A music series featuring live salsa music, dancing, and free lessons for beginners. 2:30 p.m. Sun., June 3 and 10. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Events listings," 31 May 2018 Another, spiked with hot sauce like Tabasco, for salsa. Alex Van Buren,, "This Healthy, 5-Minute Dressing Can Rescue Almost Any Leftovers in Your Fridge," 22 May 2018 Way more bang for your buck to get a bottle of hot sauce and use it as salsa with tortilla chips. Carly Graf, Outside Online, "The Best Homemade Snacks According to the Pros," 11 May 2018 Guitars of the iconic Café Havana echo salsa music into the early morning. Monica Mendal, Vogue, "These Private Islands Off the Coast of Cartagena Are Practically Made for Instagram," 28 Apr. 2018 Businesses cater to miners: Open-air bars stocked with cold beer are within walking distance of the pits, stacks of speakers blare salsa music and prostitutes ply the streets. Andrew Rosati,, "The Bloody Grab for Gold in Venezuela’s Most Dangerous Town," 9 Apr. 2018 Being Puerto Rican, even salsa music stems back to the Motherland [Africa]., "Bruno Mars Is The Least Of Our Cultural Appropriation Problems," 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'salsa.' 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 salsa

circa 1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for salsa

Spanish, literally, sauce, from Latin, feminine of salsus salted — more at sauce

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Dictionary Entries near salsa



sal prunella





Statistics for salsa

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for salsa

The first known use of salsa was circa 1962

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More Definitions for salsa



English Language Learners Definition of salsa

: a spicy sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers that is commonly served with Mexican food

: a type of popular Latin-American music

: dancing that is done to salsa music


sal·sa | \ˈsȯl-sə, ˈsäl-\

Kids Definition of salsa

1 : a spicy sauce of tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers

2 : popular music of Latin American origin with characteristics of jazz and rock

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Comments on salsa

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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