Definition of saltire in English:



  • 1A diagonal cross as a heraldic ordinary.

    • ‘James himself adopted the new style of King of Great Britain and designed a new flag, incorporating the St Andrew's saltire and the St George's cross.’
    • ‘Nicknamed The Highlander, he had already caused a stir at the Games, dyeing his hair blue and white to resemble the saltire.’
    • ‘Grampian also gets a new logo to replace its trademark saltire.’
    • ‘He is proudly clasping his gold medal, draped in the Scottish flag and wearing an enormous blue floppy top hat emblazoned with a brilliant white saltire.’
    • ‘If the red saltire had simply been placed over the white, it might have simply appeared to be a red saltire with a white border, rather than two saltires combined.’
    1. 1.1[as modifier](of a design) incorporating a motif based on a saltire cross.
      ‘a saltire design’
      ‘a mosaic with a saltire arrangement’
      • ‘The smooth concrete of the distinctly Kahnian vaults is impressed with a pattern of abstract saltire crosses created using basic rubber moulds.’
      • ‘Legend has it that St Andrew was martyred by the Romans on a saltire cross at Patras in Greece.’
      • ‘The new design added the red saltire cross attributed to St. Patrick for Ireland.’
      • ‘That was the day when he finished eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle, to steal the trophy from Colin Montgomerie, who had turned up wearing his saltire sweater, a champion in waiting.’


Late Middle English: from Old French saultoir stirrup cord, stile, saltire, based on Latin saltare to dance.