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

  • noun The act of leaping, jumping, or dancing.
  • noun Discontinuous movement, transition, or development; advancement by leaps.
  • noun Genetics A single mutation that drastically alters the phenotype.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The name ‘saltation,’ or in recent years ‘mutation, has been applied to extreme fluctuation, the immediate cause of which is unknown. The experiments of Dr. Hugo de Vries on the saltations of the descendants of an American form of evening primrose (Œnothera lamarckiana) have recently drawn general attention again to the possibility that saltation has had a large part in the process of formation of species.
  • noun Saltatory action; the act or movement of leaping, or effecting a saltus; a leap or jump; hence, abrupt transition or change.
  • noun Jumping movement; beating or palpitation.

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

  • noun A leaping or jumping.
  • noun Beating or palpitation.
  • noun (Biol.) An abrupt and marked variation in the condition or appearance of a species; a sudden modification which may give rise to new races.

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

  • noun A leap, jump or dance.
  • noun Beating or palpitation.
  • noun biology A sudden change from one generation to the next; a mutation.
  • noun Any abrupt transition.
  • noun geology, fluid mechanics The transport of loose particles by a fluid (such as wind or flowing water).

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

  • noun (geology) the leaping movement of sand or soil particles as they are transported in a fluid medium over an uneven surface
  • noun a light, self-propelled movement upwards or forwards
  • noun an abrupt transition
  • noun taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
  • noun (genetics) a mutation that drastically changes the phenotype of an organism or species


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

[Latin saltātiō, saltātiōn, from saltātus, past participle of saltāre, to leap, frequentative of salīre, to jump; see salient.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin saltus ("to leap").



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  • "A recent study finds that saltating sand particles induces a static electric field by friction. Saltating sand acquires a negative charge relative to the ground which in turn loosens more sand particles which then begin saltating. This process has been found to double the number of particles predicted by previous theory. This is significant in meteorology because it is primarily the saltation of sand particles which dislodges smaller dust particles into the atmosphere. Dust particles and other aerosols such as soot affect the amount of sunlight received by the atmosphere and earth, and are nuclei for condensation of the water vapour."


    March 1, 2013