1. a medicinal ointment for healing or relieving wounds and sores.
  2. anything that soothes, mollifies, or relieves.

verb (used with object), salved, salv·ing.

  1. to soothe with or as if with salve; assuage: to salve one’s conscience.

verb (used with or without object), salved, salv·ing.

  1. to save from loss or destruction; to salvage.


  1. hail!


  1. an ointment for wounds, sores, etc
  2. anything that heals or soothes

verb (tr)

  1. to apply salve to (a wound, sore, etc)
  2. to soothe, comfort, or appease


  1. a less common word for salvage
  2. an archaic word for save 1 (def. 3)

n.Old English sealf “healing ointment,” from West Germanic *salbo- “oily substance” (cf. Old Saxon salba, Middle Dutch salve, Dutch zalf, Old High German salba, German salbe “ointment”), from PIE *solpa-, from root *selp- “fat, butter” (cf. Greek elpos “fat, oil,” Sanskrit sarpis “melted butter”). The figurative sense of “something to soothe wounded pride, etc.” is from 1736. v.1Old English sealfian “anoint (a wound) with salve,” from Proto-Germanic *salbojanan (cf. Dutch zalven, German salben, Gothic salbon “to anoint”), from the root of salve (n.). Figurative use from c.1200. Related: Salved; salving. v.2“to save from loss at sea,” 1706, back-formation from salvage (n.) or salvable. Related: Salved; salving. n.

  1. An analgesic or medicinal ointment.
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