• Salient


    • IPA: /ˈseɪljənt/
    • Hyphenation: sa + lient


    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 .

    Full definition of salient



    1. Worthy of note; pertinent or relevant.The article is not exhaustive, but it covers the salient points pretty well.
    2. Prominent; conspicuous.
      • BancroftHe Grenville had neither salient traits, nor general comprehensiveness of mind.
    3. (heraldry, usually of a quadruped) Depicted in a leaping posture.a lion salient
    4. (often military) Projecting outwards, pointing outwards.a salient angle
    5. (obsolete) Moving by leaps or springs; jumping.
      • Sir Thomas Brownefrogs and salient animals
    6. (obsolete) Shooting out up; springing; projecting.
      • BurkeHe had in himself a salient, living spring of generous and manly action.


    Derived terms

    Related terms



    (plural salients)
    1. (military) an outwardly projecting part of a fortification, trench system, or line of defense

    Derived terms

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