\ 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

brackish, briny, saline, salt

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of salty in a Sentence


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

Evaporation combined with rising temperatures in the canals had caused water to become increasingly salty and sink, creating the plume. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "County moves toward using wastewater in FPL canals, but won’t set water standards yet | Miami Herald," 10 Apr. 2018 At a certain point, Rice-a-Roni is easier to make and just as creamy and salty. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "June postscript: 5 unusual things you can make in an Internet-connected oven," 31 Dec. 2018 There’s a salty breeze dropping live rhythms of samba-rock on a snaking ribbon of humans. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 Laze plumes occur when lava meets salty sea water and sends up clouds of hydrochloric acid and steam embedded with fine glass particles. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Hawaii Added 875 Acres of Volcanic Land Last Year," 25 Feb. 2019 Water normally mixes down in the North Atlantic, so the saltier water in the model acts to accelerate this Atlantic conveyor belt. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Geoengineering could stop warming but comes with side of sea-level rise," 31 Oct. 2018 Vibrio bacteria are said to thrive in warm, salty water. Tom Avril,, "N.J. man infected with flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing, could lose limbs," 10 July 2018 The recipe is simple: Sun, salty water, seed bio-prospected from the ocean and fertilizer. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "Remote Texas algae farm grows a food for the future," 27 June 2018 Gloria Fanning just wanted to experience flotation pods — the trend where people submerge themselves in tanks filled with warm, salty water to meditate or relieve stress. Anna M. Tinsley, star-telegram, "A 71-year-old woman stopped breathing in a watery pod. Now, a lawmaker seeks changes," 5 June 2018

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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Statistics for salty

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for salty

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

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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 saltiness (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on salty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with salty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for salty

Spanish Central: Translation of salty

Nglish: Translation of salty for Spanish Speakers

Comments on salty

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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