a characteristic which is essential to the definition of something - without that characteristic, the thing is something else. Being wet is a salient characteristic of water (at least, between 0 and 100 degrees Celsius.)

In trench warfare a salient occurs when the trench line of one side juts into the line of the other, forming a wedge. This can be extremely dangerous for the side with the salient, as the area must be defended on not one but three sides. However, if the salient is on the highland, it can work to their advantage. A famous example of a salient is the Ypres salient formed by Allied troops during World War I.

Sa"li*ent (?), a. [L. saliens, -entis, p.pr. of salire to leap; cf. F. saillant. See Sally, n. & v. i..]


Moving by leaps or springs; leaping; bounding; jumping.

"Frogs and salient animals."

Sir T. Browne.


Shooting out up; springing; projecting.

He had in himself a salient, living spring of generous and manly action. Burke.


Hence, figuratively, forcing itself on the attention; prominent; conspicuous; noticeable.

He [Grenville] had neither salient traits, nor general comprehensiveness of mind. Bancroft.

4. Math. & Fort.

Projectiong outwardly; as, a salient angle; -- opposed to reentering. See Illust. of Bastion.

<-- convex? -->

5. Her.

Represented in a leaping position; as, a lion salient.

Salient angle. See Salient, a., 4. -- Salient polygon Geom., a polygon all of whose angles are salient. -- Salient polyhedron Geom., a polyhedron all of whose solid angles are salient.


© Webster 1913.

Sa"li*ent, a. Fort.

A salient angle or part; a projection.


© Webster 1913.

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