sal·​sa ˈsȯl-sə How to pronounce salsa (audio)
: 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
: popular music of Latin American origin that has absorbed characteristics of rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock

Example Sentences

The band was playing salsa. We're taking classes in salsa.
Recent Examples on the Web Kana Okada Give your salsa an upgrade by mixing in some fresh queso fresco cheese. Christopher Michel, Country Living, 2 Feb. 2023 Garden Fresh Gourmet grew to become the No. 1 selling fresh salsa in the country. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 2 Feb. 2023 Toppings included a lining of green lettuce, millennial pink pickled onions, a sliver of avocado and super-tender cochinita with fatty chunks of meat leaking red-orange juice, plus our favorite habanero salsa of the trip. oregonlive, 28 Jan. 2023 Kemah Boardwalk has numerous shops, a 400-slip marina and a range of weekly events from end-of-summer fireworks to a Mustangs-only car show and a salsa-dancing competition. Rebecca Treon, Chron, 20 Jan. 2023 For example, has your haircut gotten more expensive, or is your favorite salsa being sold in a smaller container? Austen Hufford, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2022 Earlier in the day, the group from the community garden made their way to the same kitchen for a salsa-making class taught by Chelsea Huizing, the Fieldhouse’s assistant general manager. Erik Piepenburg, New York Times, 28 Oct. 2022 That evolved into making, packing and selling salsa at markets and trade shows under the brand name Windham Kitchen. Paris Wolfe, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2022 The duo got off to an impressive start, with their salsa earning seven's from all four judges: Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 20 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of salsa was circa 1962

Dictionary Entries Near salsa

Cite this Entry

“Salsa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


sal·​sa ˈsȯl-sə How to pronounce salsa (audio)
: a spicy sauce of tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers
: popular Latin American music with elements of rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock

More from Merriam-Webster on salsa

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Which Came First?

  • baby chick with a brown egg
  • hot take or cold shoulder?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?