\ 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 salty (audio) \ adverb
saltiness \ ˈsȯl-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce salty (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 Even better is an homage to the drinking culture of the Deep South juke joint, drawing on moonshine and local gins with fruity, salty, and pungent elements like butterscotch, ginger, and hibiscus. Michael W. Twitty, Bon Appétit, "Matthew Raiford’s New Cookbook Celebrates Black Resistance by Existence," 13 May 2021 The resulting water is slightly salty, gently chlorinated, and 100 percent safe. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "There's a Massive Chlorine Shortage Coming This Summer. Here's What You Should Do.," 6 May 2021 The taste is crunchy, salty, sweet, sour and spicy — due to the lime juice, chili powder, and La Botanera hot sauce that the chips are topped with. Stephanie García,, "With tequila and coconut chili, family with ice cream heritage brings authentic Mexican sweets to Highlandtown," 4 May 2021 Sheep’s milk feta is traditional in spanakopita, but any salty, crumbly or grated cheese, including the vegan kind, is great here. Washington Post, "Customize this crispy, cheesy spinach pie any way you like it," 22 Apr. 2021 Use chocolate in your otherwise savory spiced nuts or crostini for a perfect blend of salty, spicy and sweet. Laura Wheatman Hill,, "What are the health benefits of dark chocolate?," 17 Apr. 2021 The larb should be tangy, salty, and a little spicy (like me). Karla Cripps, CNN, "Chrissy Teigen's mom Pepper talks cooking, family and why she has to eat Thai food once a day," 14 Apr. 2021 Sometimes, people interpret the tastes as salty, bitter or rancid. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "A mouthful of nickels? Some say they taste metal after a Covid-19 vaccination," 25 Mar. 2021 The Tart kombu vinegar was a condiment under the sea—slightly salty, refreshing, and bracing. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Acid Trip: How Small-Batch Vinegars Became a Kitchen Phenomenon," 10 Mar. 2021

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

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

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Statistics for salty

Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Salty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for salty



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 salty (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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