word salad


Definition of word salad

1 psychology : unintelligible, extremely disorganized speech or writing manifested as a symptom of a mental disorder (such as schizophrenia) Damage to Wernicke's area can result in the loss of semantic associations … . Trying to speak results in garbled, nonsensical juxtapositions that neuroscientists call "word salad".— Duncan Graham-Rowe
2 : a string of empty, incoherent, unintelligible, or nonsensical words or comments In the moments when the debate wasn't in circus form it seemed very conventional and very one-sided, with one candidate who could give complete, coherent and informed answers about issues and the other who specialized in word salad.— Robert Schlesinger … composed an essay that was a word salad of solemn academic jargon.— George Will

Examples of word salad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This trademark word salad sums up the mood on the right. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 19 Apr. 2021 Confronted for the second time about IP, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley emitted an undigested stream of Gatesian word salad. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, 12 Apr. 2021 Even though Jiang wrapped his announcement in party-speak, the word salad didn’t mask the momentousness of the change. John Pomfret, The Atlantic, 25 Jan. 2021 Richard Foreman fans will recognize some of the actors, as well as the crunchy texture of the word salad. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 14 Jan. 2021 These will form the base of your corporate word salad. Natasha Vaynblat, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2020 Yet over the next few weeks, a strange narrative emerged from this particular word salad. Matt Alt, The New Yorker, 26 Sep. 2020 Scott issued a news release Wednesday afternoon, which was essentially a bowl of word salad. John Canzano, oregonlive, 17 Sep. 2020 But Drew Brees needs to prove there is substance to his mea culpa, that his wasn’t yet another word salad from someone who doesn’t get it and just wants all this to go away. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 4 June 2020

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

1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for word salad

Time Traveler

The first known use of word salad was in 1904

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Cite this Entry

“Word salad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/word%20salad. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for word salad

word salad

word sal·​ad | \ -ˌsal-əd How to pronounce word salad (audio) \

Medical Definition of word salad

: a jumble of extremely incoherent speech as sometimes observed in schizophrenia


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