Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To greet or address with an expression of welcome, goodwill, or respect.
  • transitive v. To recognize (a superior) with a gesture prescribed by military regulations, as by raising the hand to the cap.
  • transitive v. To honor formally and ceremoniously.
  • transitive v. To express warm approval of; commend: salute an agency for its charity work.
  • transitive v. To become noticeable to: A stench saluted our nostrils.
  • intransitive v. To make a gesture of greeting or respect.
  • n. An act of greeting; a salutation.
  • n. An act or gesture of welcome, honor, or courteous recognition: a musical salute to the composer's 90th birthday.
  • n. The position of the hand or rifle or the bodily posture of a person saluting a military superior.
  • n. A formal military display of honor or greeting, such as the firing of cannon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A formal gesture done in honor of someone or something, usually with the hand or hands in one of various particular positions.
  • n. Any action done for the purpose of honor or tribute .
  • v. To make a gesture in honor of someone or something.
  • v. To act in thanks, honor, or tribute; to thank or extend gratitude.
  • v. to wave, to acknowledge an acquaintance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To address, as with expressions of kind wishes and courtesy; to greet; to hail.
  • transitive v. Hence, to give a sign of good will; to compliment by an act or ceremony, as a kiss, a bow, etc.
  • transitive v. To honor, as some day, person, or nation, by a discharge of cannon or small arms, by dipping colors, by cheers, etc.
  • transitive v. To promote the welfare and safety of; to benefit; to gratify.
  • n. The act of saluting, or expressing kind wishes or respect; salutation; greeting.
  • n. A sign, token, or ceremony, expressing good will, compliment, or respect, as a kiss, a bow, etc.
  • n. A token of respect or honor for some distinguished or official personage, for a foreign vessel or flag, or for some festival or event, as by presenting arms, by a discharge of cannon, volleys of small arms, dipping the colors or the topsails, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wish health to; greet with expressions of respect, good will, affection, etc.
  • To greet with a kiss, a bow, a courtesy, the uncovering of the head, a clasp or a wave of the hand, or the like; especially, in older writers, to kiss.
  • To hail or greet with welcome, honor, homage, etc.; welcome; hail.
  • To honor formally or with ceremonious recognition, as by the firing of cannon, presenting arms, dipping the colors, etc.: as, to salute a general or an admiral; to salute the flag.
  • To touch; affect; influence; excite.
  • To perform a salutation; exchange greetings.
  • To perform a military salute.
  • n. An act of expressing kind wishes or respect; a salutation; a greeting.
  • n. A kiss.
  • n. In the army and navy, a compliment paid when a distinguished personage presents himself, when troops or squadrons meet, when officers are buried, or to celebrate an event or show respect to a flag, and on many other ceremonial occasions.
  • n. The position of the sword, rifle, hand, etc., in saluting; the attitude of a person saluting: as, to stand at the salute while the general is passing; specifically, in fencing, a formal greeting of swordsmen when about to engage.
  • n. Synonyms Greeting, etc. See salutation.
  • n. A gold coin current in the French dominions of Henry V. and Henry VI. of England, weighing about 54 grains.

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

  • v. honor with a military ceremony, as when honoring dead soldiers
  • n. an act of greeting with friendly words and gestures like bowing or lifting the hat
  • v. become noticeable
  • n. an act of honor or courteous recognition
  • n. a formal military gesture of respect
  • v. greet in a friendly way
  • v. recognize with a gesture prescribed by a military regulation; assume a prescribed position
  • v. propose a toast to
  • v. express commendation of

Etymologies

Middle English saluten, from Latin salūtāre, from salūs, salūt-, health.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
from Latin salutare "to greet"; literally, "wish health to," from salus (gen. salutis) "greeting, good health", related to salvus "safe". (Wiktionary)

Examples

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