Word of the Day : July 18, 2018


noun SAL-voh


1 a : a simultaneous discharge of two or more guns in military action or as a salute

b : the release all at one time of a rack of bombs or rockets (as from an airplane)

c : a series of shots by an artillery battery with each gun firing one round in turn after a prescribed interval

d : the bombs or projectiles released in a salvo

2 a : a sudden burst

b : a spirited attack

Did You Know?

Salvo derives via Italian and French from the Latin adjective salvus, meaning "healthy." Salve, another form of the word, means "hail!" in Latin and was used as a greeting by ancient Romans. (Incidentally, the English salve, referring to a medicinal substance, is no relation.) In English, salvo originally referred to a simultaneous discharge of two or more firearms performed as a salute—which is appropriate, since salute is another descendant of salvus. With time salvo came to refer to such a discharge performed as an act of war. Nowadays a salvo is most often an act of figurative war—such as a critical remark aimed at a debate opponent, or a business decision in a highly competitive industry.


The newspaper article was intended as a salvo against the mayor's policies.

"Soda industry fires salvo at Harvard researchers over sugary drink study warnings" — headline, The Boston Globe, 19 June 2018

Word Family Quiz

What 4-letter name of a plant is derived from Latin salvus and is a homograph referring to a person who is very wise?



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