from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Projecting or jutting beyond a line or surface; protruding.
  • adj. Strikingly conspicuous; prominent. See Synonyms at noticeable.
  • adj. Springing; jumping: salient tree toads.
  • n. A military position that projects into the position of the enemy.
  • n. A projecting angle or part.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Worthy of note; pertinent or relevant.
  • adj. Prominent.
  • adj. Depicted in a leaping posture.
  • adj. Projecting outwards, pointing outwards.
  • n. an outwardly projecting part of a fortification, trench system, or line of defense

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Moving by leaps or springs; leaping; bounding; jumping.
  • adj. Shooting out or up; springing; projecting.
  • adj. Hence, figuratively, forcing itself on the attention; prominent; conspicuous; noticeable.
  • adj. Projecting outwardly; ; -- opposed to reëntering. See Illust. of Bastion.
  • adj. Represented in a leaping position.
  • adj. A salient angle or part; a projection.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Leaping; bounding; jumping; moving by leaps; specifically, in herpetology, saltatorial; habitually leaping or jumping, as a frog or toad; of or pertaining to the Salientia.
  • In heraldry, leaping or springing: said of a beast of prey which is represented bendwise on the escutcheon, the hind feet together at the sinister base, and the fore paws raised and usually on a level, though sometimes separate, nearly as when rampant. Also saliant, assailant, effaré.
  • Shooting up or out; springing up.
  • Projecting outward; convex: as, a salient angle.
  • Standing out; conspicuous; prominent; striking.
  • In geometry, an angle bending toward the interior of a closed figure, as an ordinary angle of a polygon: opposed to reëntrant angle.
  • n. A salient angle or part; a projection.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. represented as leaping (rampant but leaning forward)
  • adj. having a quality that thrusts itself into attention
  • adj. (of angles) pointing outward at an angle of less than 180 degrees
  • n. (military) the part of the line of battle that projects closest to the enemy


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin saliēns, salient-, present participle of salīre, to leap.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The heraldic sense "leaping" and the sense "projecting outward" are from Latin saliens, from saliō ("leap, spring"). The senses "prominent" and "pertinent" are relatively recently from the phrase "salient point", which is from the Latin punctum saliens, a translation of Aristotle's term for the embryonal heart visible in (opened) eggs, which he thought seemed to move already. Compare the German calque der springende Punkt.


  • _Combatant_: when back to back, they are _Addorsed_: when passant or salient in contrary directions, they are _Counter passant_ or _Counter salient_.

    The Handbook to English Heraldry

  • April 22nd, 2010 11: 54 am ET why any free thinking american would consider ANYTHING dick cheney says as relevant, honest, unbiased, or salient is beyond me. thank god this power mad relic has been sent back to wyoming where his vitriol lands on very few ears ...

    Cheney endorses Rubio for Senate

  • I always wonder how authors manage to build and build and build, all the while carefully revealing certain salient details, and then wrap it all up in the conclusion.

    An Interview with Simon Tolkein

  • A politician who revises/revisits his previous stances on important issues to make sure they are still salient is EXACTLY what we need and EXACTLY what we have not had for the past 7+ years.

    Obama Might ‘Refine’ Iraq Timeline - The Caucus Blog -

  • And even though some of the references to prototyping tools may seem dated (Hypercard anyone?), the issues remain salient and clear for anyone using prototypes as a means to communicate with and through.

    Plot | strategic design & innovation agents:

  • But conversational tidbits used as metaphors to illustrate certain salient points in the pitch create an immediate connection. posted by Dean at

    notes from the peanut gallery

  • The manoeuvre of the Von Rundstedt salient is now shrinking like a pricked balloon, but the Germans also can claim some success.

    The Present Situation

  • The inherent weakness of the Marne salient from the German point of view and the opportunity which it offered the Allied command had not been forgotten by the generalissimo.

    Woodrow Wilson and the World War A Chronicle of Our Own Times.

  • The word salient has appeared in 67 Times articles over the past year, including on March 31, 2010 in

    NYT > Home Page

  • 133 If this held true in 1915, in 1917 the Ypres salient is more appalling, more hideously naked than ever.

    War Story of the Canadian Army Medical Corps


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • As an investor, you may be wondering why this is salient to you?

    October 10, 2010

  • These schools had two salient features.

    September 14, 2010

  • This is a pretty versatile word.

    • salient (jumping) toads

    • The young lady who was shortsighted placed a pair of glasses on her salient (protruding) nose lifted her chin and deliberately examined the person on the bench. Love Among the Artists By Bernard Shaw

    • salient (obvious) anger

    February 16, 2009