\ ˈsȯl-tē How to pronounce salty (audio) \
saltier; saltiest

Definition of salty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, seasoned with, or containing salt salty foods
b : being, inducing, or marked by the one of the five basic taste sensations that is suggestive of seawater — compare bitter entry 1 sense 1a, sour entry 1 sense 1, sweet entry 1 sense 1, umami entry 2
2 : smacking of the sea or nautical life
3a : piquant
b : earthy, crude salty language
4 informal : feeling or showing resentment towards a person or situation : bitter I completely forgot about our date and left my girlfriend waiting at the restaurant for over an hour. Now she's all salty.— Nicole Lane They made me shave my beard and cover up my tattoos, which I was a little salty about.— Jon Niccum



Definition of salty (Entry 2 of 2)

: the taste sensation that is suggestive of seawater — compare bitter entry 2 sense 1b, sour entry 2 sense 1b, sweet entry 3 sense 2, umami entry 1

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Other Words from salty


saltily \ ˈsȯl-​tə-​lē How to pronounce saltily (audio) \ adverb
saltiness \ ˈsȯl-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce saltiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for salty

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of salty in a Sentence

Adjective I think the soup tastes salty. salty sea water is safe to swim in, but you really shouldn't swallow it
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective At Mario’s Pizza & Wine Bar, that dough is put to good use, forming a crust that’s rugged, chewy, salty, dusty and toasty. Mike Sutter,, "52 Weeks of Pizza: Mario’s Pizza & Wine Bar in Bulverde has the upper crust," 6 Nov. 2020 So head into the kitchen for a brief recess and pop up some crisp, sweet and salty, warm-and-fresh-from-your-stovetop kettle corn. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Edible bites for Election Night," 28 Oct. 2020 Mohanraj points to other Southeast Asian imprints on the cuisine too: lemongrass, coconut milk, red rice, tamarind, and importantly, a balance of salty, sour and sweet flavors. Tina Danze, Dallas News, "‘A Feast of Serendib’: New cookbook highlights the flavorful and historical complexities of Sri Lankan cuisine," 13 Oct. 2020 Without getting too carried away, try to incorporate at least two of the five contrasting tastes—sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami—to balance your dishes and drinks. Popular Science, "There’s a science to food pairing, and you can learn it here," 22 Oct. 2020 Empanadas found in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries as well as many parts of South America are frequently filled with a mixture of meat given a sweet and salty punch from raisins and olives or capers. Paul Stephen,, "Savory, meat-filled empanadas from South America, Caribbean turn handheld treat into a complete meal," 21 Oct. 2020 The air is salty, even a little dank, and seagulls bicker as diggers trundle up and down dismantling cabanas. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Inside Rick Owens’s Venice: “Italy Is Where I Create, and Paris Is Where I Am Judged”," 7 Oct. 2020 For Kornnawong, Isaan food is a little less sweet, more salty and more acidic than other Thai cuisines and overall more balanced than Lao food. Janelle Bitker,, "Kin Khao alum has a funky new Isaan Thai pop-up in a leafy S.F. patio," 16 Oct. 2020 The bubble curtain, which OceanTherm said is loved by ocean-dwelling creatures, keeps ice from forming on the water’s surface by bubbling warmer, salty sea water to the surface. Chris Perkins,, "A company says its ‘Bubble Curtain’ could snuff out hurricanes. Is it just another crazy idea, or could this one work?," 9 Oct. 2020

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1912, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for salty

Time Traveler

The first known use of salty was in the 15th century

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Statistics for salty

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Salty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for salty


How to pronounce salty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of salty

: containing salt or too much salt
US, old-fashioned : somewhat rude or shocking


\ ˈsȯl-tē How to pronounce salty (audio) \
saltier; saltiest

Kids Definition of salty

: of, tasting of, or containing salt salty food


\ ˈsȯl-tē How to pronounce salty (audio) \
saltier; saltiest

Medical Definition of salty

: of, seasoned with, or containing salt

Other Words from salty

saltiness \ -​tē-​nəs How to pronounce saltiness (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on salty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for salty

Nglish: Translation of salty for Spanish Speakers

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