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noun (1)

sal·​vo ˈsal-(ˌ)vō How to pronounce salvo (audio)
plural salvos or salvoes
: a simultaneous discharge of two or more guns in military action or as a salute
: the release all at one time of a rack of bombs or rockets (as from an airplane)
: a series of shots by an artillery battery with each gun firing one round in turn after a prescribed interval
: the bombs or projectiles released in a salvo
: something suggestive of a salvo: such as
: a sudden burst
a salvo of cheers
: a spirited attack
the first salvo of a political campaign


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salvoed; salvoing; salvos

transitive verb

: to release a salvo of

intransitive verb

: to fire a salvo


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noun (2)

plural salvos
: a mental reservation : proviso
: a means of safeguarding one's name or honor or allaying one's conscience : salve

Did you know?

No opening salvo here: salvo in phrases like “an opening salvo” is a kind of attack, especially one that is strong or sudden. Usually, such salvos are verbal attacks, like a critical remark aimed at a debate opponent, or a pointed accusation at the start of an editorial. But salvo can also refer to attacks of a more perilous kind, including various martial actions involving bombs, rockets, and artillery. (It can also refer to the bombs or projectiles released in a salvo.) The word arrived from Italian in the late 16th century with a complex meaning: it referred to a simultaneous discharge of two or more guns, either in military action or as a salute. The word's ultimate source is the Latin word salve, meaning “hail!,” which was an ancient Roman greeting. In English, salvo is also sometimes used for a sudden occurrence of applause, laughter, etc., from many people, which sounds to us like the best kind of all.

Examples of salvo in a Sentence

Noun (1) attacked the manager with a salvo of complaints before she even managed to say "hello"
Recent Examples on the Web
But even outside Parrino’s opening salvo regarding Markey’s bill, much of the conference centered explicitly on the ramifications of that proposal, or on methadone clinics’ shaky political footing more broadly. Lev Facher, STAT, 28 May 2024 The attorney general for the District of Columbia contends that the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals are obligated to play their games in the downtown arena through 2047, the city’s latest salvo to keep the teams from leaving. Stephen Whyno, Baltimore Sun, 22 Mar. 2024 The lawsuit is the latest salvo in what’s been a tumultuous dispute over the UFW’s unionization campaign at the nation’s largest grapevine nursery. Rebecca Plevin, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2024 Now comes yet another salvo: a blanket citywide speed limit of 25 mph, down from a mostly standard 30. The Editorial Board, Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for salvo 

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Italian salva, from French salve, from Latin, hail!, from salvus healthy — more at safe

Noun (2)

Medieval Latin salvo jure with the right reserved

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1839, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (2)

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of salvo was in 1591


Dictionary Entries Near salvo

Cite this Entry

“Salvo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural salvos or salvoes
: the firing of two or more guns at the same time at one target or in a salute
: the release all at once of a rack of bombs or rockets
: the firing of one gun after another in a group of artillery pieces
: a sudden burst (as of cheers)

More from Merriam-Webster on salvo

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