The spicy, tomato-based sauce that's served with your burrito is salsa. Salsa is also great for dipping tortilla chips in.

Officially, the familiar Mexican type of salsa is called salsa picante, or "spicy sauce" in Spanish. In fact, salsa — which is rooted in the Latin salsa, "salty food" or "condiment" — means "sauce" in both Spanish and Italian. There is also a genre of music called salsa, which gets its name from the implied "spiciness" of the sauce, as well as the blending of Cuban and Puerto Rican styles of dance music.

Definitions of salsa
  1. noun
    spicy sauce of tomatoes and onions and chili peppers to accompany Mexican foods
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a preparation (a sauce or relish or spice) to enhance flavor or enjoyment
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week