Main definitions of salve in English

: salve1salve2

salve1

noun

  • 1An ointment used to promote healing of the skin or as protection.

    ‘the wound should be washed with water and then a salve applied’
    [mass noun] ‘he doctored their hurts with some strong-smelling salve’
    • ‘She could rub salve on his open wounds later, she bandaged a few that were bleeding badly but then covered him in his blankets and stroked his forehead.’
    • ‘Other cuts and bruises were likewise administered a healing salve and from his skin I managed to scrub much of the soil and blood.’
    • ‘After I stopped the bleeding I put a root extract and honey salve on it to protect it from infection and promote healing.’
    • ‘She treated the woman's wound as if it were from an arrow: applying salve, and binding the hole, but it did not help.’
    • ‘He took stick-on bandages from the small first aid kit he carried and, rubbing some healing salve over the wounds, covered them with the bandages.’
    • ‘After he was finished, the woman dressed his sore wounds with a cooling salve.’
    • ‘Rags were boiled for bandages and an assortment of ointments and salves were applied on Erik's skin to promote healing.’
    • ‘Once the splint was in place, David continued his work and applied the salve he just made on all of the wounds that would require it.’
    • ‘These powerful immune-suppressing salves have become popular for hard-to-treat eczema, a condition characterized by red, itchy, inflamed skin.’
    • ‘Calendula helps to heal broken skin, and the oil in the salve creates a protective barrier that prevents mucous membranes from drying out.’
    • ‘Numair applied all of the salve for the bleeding that he dared, but Kefari's blood all but refused to fully clot.’
    • ‘John Arderne was proudest of the remedies he devised for the battlefield and particularly a salve for arrow wounds that he called sang d' amor - in mediaeval French, the blood of love.’
    • ‘She got the fire started and prepared some salve to cover his wound.’
    • ‘After using the salve, she began to dress the wound.’
    • ‘Carlotta put the salve on Pierce's wounds, before joining her brother downstairs in the parlor.’
    • ‘He wiped her foot again to clean away the blood, then taking the salve, he covered the wound and wrapped her foot.’
    • ‘Quickly I washed the wound clean and applied the salve before once more bandaging his leg.’
    • ‘And as for you, Mr. Monk, I will get you some salve for those cuts.’
    • ‘Then he deftly smeared some salve on the wound and wrapped it with a new bandage, taping it in place.’
    • ‘He looked at Lanfilar, who was helping an Olindu prepare a healing salve for the many battle wounds taken.’
    ointment, cream, balm, unction, unguent, balsam, pomade, rub, embrocation, emollient, liniment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Something that is soothing or consoling for wounded feelings or an uneasy conscience.
      ‘the idea provided him with a salve for his guilt’
      • ‘Plath's novel and its melancholy protagonist, whom I would later learn was a thinly veiled version of Plath herself, proved to be the perfect salve for my tortured adolescent mind.’
      • ‘Onisaburo's private counsel was a much-needed salve to soothe his inner turmoil.’
      • ‘The Northern relief road, creating a link between the A591 and A6 north of Kendal, had been billed as a potential shot in the arm for Kendal's economy and a salve for traffic woes.’
      • ‘Sanctions are a salve for our conscience, not a serious attempt to stop the murders.’
      • ‘The answer is education - that great universal salve for all of the ills of humankind.’
      • ‘Paganism has proven to be the ultimate test of pitting intellect against emotion, and within that framework, it has been the healing salve for a broken spirituality.’
      • ‘So we obsessively analyze this epic Homerian battle, trying to find a moment of heroism, a brief glimpse to help salve our morally guilty wounds.’
      • ‘The airline threw well over a billion bonus miles at them as a salve, and most of them are still flying the ‘friendly’ skies one year later.’
      • ‘Thank God for post-modernism, the salve of the intellectual conscience.’
      • ‘If a writer of epic fantasy isn't willing to trust her imagination and her story - is afraid to let it matter - can a salve for the troubles that afflict us still be found in books?’
      • ‘Despite the fact that many organizations are now addressing diversity, company initiatives are not strong enough salves for the wounds caused by decades of social inequality in the workplace.’
      • ‘Insistent that small-scale peasant properties were the solution to Ireland's economic woes, Mill came to see them as the salve for wounded Irish nationalist sentiments as well.’
      • ‘Back in 1990, the city wanted his land for a municipal golf course that was supposedly going to provide a permanent salve for the city's financial problems.’
      • ‘The win also provided some competitive salve for a US team that earlier in the day failed to qualify anyone for the 100m freestyle semi-finals for the first time in its Olympic history.’
      • ‘MUSIC SOOTHES all, acting as a salve, but for some it is something more.’
      • ‘In this context, the company's famous ‘do no evil’ motto begins to appear like a salve for a guilty conscience.’
      • ‘It may be romantic to search for the salves of society's ills in slow moving rustic surroundings, or among innocent, unspoiled provincials, if such exist, but it is a waste of time.’
      • ‘Pierce admits to using food as a salve for stress, and after the birth of her son four and a half years ago, she gained nearly 70 pounds.’
      • ‘What a relief, what a salve for my own anxiety, to have a president again who doesn't suffer from existential angst or malaise, or who doesn't show it if he does.’
      • ‘Yet, no amount of salve could treat my conscience.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Soothe (wounded pride or one's conscience)

    ‘charity salves our conscience’
    • ‘The odd hour or two per week spent sitting in Christian meetings may salve our consciences, but will hardly prevail against the gates of hell.’
    • ‘These protests have been about salving the consciences of many whose votes splintered the left and humiliated Prime Minister Lionel Jospin's candidacy.’
    • ‘I might even claim that welfare-state-ism can be traced to a desire to simply salve one's conscience.’
    • ‘Surely Claybourn isn't thinking of voting for a third-party candidate in order to salve his own political conscience.’
    • ‘And it was alleged that a Labour councillor claimed mobile soup kitchens were run by ‘middle class do-gooders trying to salve their consciences’.’
    • ‘A victory in the play-off final two years ago did salve some wounds, however, and the expected 400,000 windfall from Sky for the Newcastle game should heal a few more.’
    • ‘He will offer ‘second place’ and ‘survival’, two concepts not defined by the rule book, but which salve the ego for some of the players.’
    • ‘Since then we've donated to various causes to salve our guilt or conscience or out of sympathy.’
    • ‘After three days of recuperation in the ICU, I was released from the hospital, walking feebly and trying to salve my ego.’
    • ‘Maybe if I got out of my house and increased my footprint locally, I could salve my consumerist conscience.’
    • ‘He felt it was the least he could do, and secretly hoped it would somehow salve his conscience.’
    • ‘The only major world figure not to come in person was the prime minister of Great Britain (too busy perhaps with salving his wounds after a narrow electoral victory that was less than glorious).’
    • ‘Making it an official day off salved my conscience a little.’
    • ‘The arrival of De Boer may have salved a few wounds at Rangers in midweek, but Celtic were also busy on the transfer front.’
    • ‘Putting ideological purity ahead of practical policy compromises may salve our consciences but when biotechnology is the issue the stakes become too high.’
    • ‘Singing and dancing may bring pleasure to the public, charity concerts may salve guilty consciences and the world is definitely in need of some cheering up.’
    • ‘Consciences may be salved by the doctrine that the pursuit of self-interest will in fact make everyone better off.’
    • ‘They have not even the solace of big muscles and the solidarity of unions from which to construct their identities and with which to salve their bruised egos.’
    • ‘He is aware that he can never undo what was done - Abner Easely will remain dead - but he wants to find some way of salving his spiritual wound.’
    • ‘Some players do write and try to justify their dirty deeds, maybe to salve their own guilty conscience.’
    soothe, lighten, alleviate, assuage, comfort, ease, allay, dull, mollify, mitigate, palliate
    View synonyms
  • 2archaic Apply salve to.

    ‘the salved my cuts and stopped the bleeding’
    • ‘Then he carefully cleaned and salved the cuts and scrapes on my face and palms, kissing them lightly and whispering meaningless, soothing sounds to me all the while.’
    • ‘They make plastics and polyester: the clothes we wear, the carpets we walk on, frames for our computers, seats to sit on, bottles to drink from and band-aids to salve our wounds.’
    • ‘In the spirit of pioneers, we're concocting our own remedies and salving our own wounds.’

Origin

Old English sealfe (noun), sealfian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zalf and German Salbe.

Pronunciation:

salve

/salv/

Main definitions of salve in English

: salve1salve2

salve2

verb

  • ‘this gun was salved, having lain nearly 100 years below the sea’
    archaic term for salvage
    • ‘More recently, 60 brass shell cases were salved from under a 5.5in gun which had been mounted on the stern.’

Origin

Early 18th century: back-formation from the noun salvage.

Pronunciation:

salve

/salv/