salty

Potato chips and sea captains are salty. Salty can mean literally covered in salt like those delicious chips, or just crotchety, like a foul-mouthed skipper.

You can't drink sea water because it's so salty — but it may be hard for you to eat certain foods when they're not salty enough. Colloquially, you can use this adjective to mean "down-to-earth," "aggressive," or "exciting." So for example you could describe a movie pirate who's tough and blunt-spoken as salty. The "exciting or provocative" meaning dates from the 1860s, from the sense of "giving life or strong flavor."

Definitions of salty
  1. adjective
    containing or filled with salt
    Synonyms:
    brackish, briny
    slightly salty (especially from containing a mixture of seawater and fresh water)
    saliferous
    containing or yielding salt
    saline
    containing salt
    saltish
    somewhat salty
    tasty
    pleasing to the sense of taste
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    Antonyms:
    fresh, sweet
    not containing or composed of salt water
  2. adjective
    one of the four basic taste sensations; like the taste of sea water
    Synonyms:
    tasty
    pleasing to the sense of taste
  3. adjective
    engagingly stimulating or provocative
    salty language”
    synonyms: piquant
    stimulating
    rousing or quickening activity or the senses
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