Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Strikingly conspicuous; prominent. synonym: noticeable.
  • adjective Projecting or jutting beyond a line or surface; protruding.
  • adjective Springing; jumping.
  • noun A military position that projects into the position of the enemy.
  • noun A projecting angle or part.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A salient angle or part; a projection.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Fort.) A salient angle or part; a projection.
  • adjective Moving by leaps or springs; leaping; bounding; jumping.
  • adjective Shooting out or up; springing; projecting.
  • adjective Hence, figuratively, forcing itself on the attention; prominent; conspicuous; noticeable.
  • adjective (Math. & Fort.) Projecting outwardly; ; -- opposed to reëntering. See Illust. of Bastion.
  • adjective (Her.) Represented in a leaping position.
  • adjective See Salient, a., 4.
  • adjective (Geom.) a polygon all of whose angles are salient.
  • adjective (Geom.) a polyhedron all of whose solid angles are salient.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Latin saliēns, salient-, present participle of salīre, to leap; see sel- in Indo-European roots.]

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.

Examples

  • _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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 - NYTimes.com

  • 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.

    The Prototype...

  • 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

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

    Archive 2003-08-01

  • 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.

Comments

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  • 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

  • These schools had two salient features.

    September 14, 2010

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

    October 10, 2010