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, acronym for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
SALT, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks: see disarmament, nuclear.


, chemical compound
salt, chemical compound (other than water) formed by a chemical reaction between an acid and a base (see acids and bases).

Characteristics and Classification of Salts

The most familiar salt is sodium chloride, the principal component of common table salt. Sodium chloride, NaCl, and water, H2O, are formed by neutralization of sodium hydroxide, NaOH, a base, with hydrogen chloride, HCl, an acid: HCl+NaOH→NaCl+H2O. Most salts are ionic compounds (see chemical bond); they are made up of ions rather than molecules. The chemical formula for an ionic salt is an empirical formula; it does not represent a molecule but shows the proportion of atoms of the elements that make up the salt. The formula for sodium chloride, NaCl, indicates that equal numbers of sodium and chlorine atoms combine to form the salt. In the reaction of sodium with chlorine, each sodium atom loses an electron, becoming positively charged, and each chlorine atom gains an electron, becoming negatively charged (see oxidation and reduction); there are equal numbers of positively charged sodium ions and negatively charged chloride ions in sodium chloride. The ions in a solid salt are usually arranged in a definite crystalline structure, each positive ion being associated with a fixed number of negative ions, and vice versa.

A salt that has neither hydrogen (H) nor hydroxyl (OH) in its formula, e.g., sodium chloride (NaCl), is called a normal salt. A salt that has hydrogen in its formula, e.g., sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), is called an acid salt. A salt that has hydroxyl in its formula, e.g., basic lead nitrate (Pb[OH]NO3), is called a basic salt. Since a salt may react with a solvent to yield different ions than were present in the salt (see hydrolysis), a solution of a normal salt may be acidic or basic; e.g., trisodium phosphate, Na3PO4, dissolves in and reacts with water to form a basic solution.

In addition to being classified as normal, acid, or basic, salts are categorized as simple salts, double salts, or complex salts. Simple salts, e.g., sodium chloride, contain only one kind of positive ion (other than the hydrogen ion in acid salts). Double salts contain two different positive ions, e.g., the mineral dolomite, or calcium magnesium carbonate, CaMg(CO3)2. Alums are a special kind of double salt. Complex salts, e.g., potassium ferricyanide, K3Fe(CN)6, contain a complex ion that does not dissociate in solution. A hydrate is a salt that includes water in its solid crystalline form; Glauber's salt and Epsom salts are hydrates.

Salts are often grouped according to the negative ion they contain, e.g., bicarbonate or carbonate, chlorate, chloride, cyanide, fulminate, nitrate, phosphate, silicate, sulfate, or sulfide.

Preparation of Salts

Salts are also prepared by methods other than neutralization. A metal can combine directly with a nonmetal to form a salt; e.g., sodium metal reacts with chlorine gas to form sodium chloride. A metal may react with a dilute acid to form a salt and release hydrogen gas; e.g., zinc reacts with dilute sulfuric acid to form zinc sulfate and hydrogen. A metal oxide may react with an acid to form a salt and water; e.g., calcium oxide reacts with carbonic acid to form calcium carbonate and water. A base can react with a nonmetallic oxide to form a salt and water; e.g., sodium hydroxide reacts with carbon dioxide to form sodium carbonate and water. Two salts may react with one another (in solution) to form two new salts; e.g., barium chloride and sodium sulfate react in solution to form barium sulfate (as an insoluble precipitate) and sodium chloride (which remains in solution). A salt may react with an acid to form a different salt and acid; e.g., sodium chloride and sulfuric acid react when heated to form sodium sulfate and release hydrogen chloride gas (which in solution forms hydrochloric acid). A salt undergoes dissociation when it dissolves in a polar solvent, e.g., water, the extent of dissociation depending both on the salt and the solvent.


See M. Kurlansky, Salt: A World History (2002).

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Abbrev. for Southern African Large Telescope.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Much like iron, salt was believed to have supernatural origins and has become an essential part of most religious and magical rituals. The very word "salary" comes from the Latin salarium meaning "salt allowance," showing it to have great worth. The habitual use of salt is connected with the advance from nomadic to agricultural life. The gods were worshiped as the givers of the foods necessary for life; so salt, frequently together with bread, was associated with offerings to the deities. This was especially prevalent among the Greeks and Romans.

Since it is so essential to life—both human and animal—salt symbolically represents life. It is added to baptismal water, to water used in exorcism, and to the holy water used on a Wiccan altar. Some traditions of Witchcraft mark their Circle with salt. Magically, it is considered a great defense against evil. For this reason, people in the Middle Ages believed it to be a tool for preventing witchcraft and for destroying a witch. Even today, in the Ozarks, it is believed that if a woman complains that her food tastes too salty, she may well be a witch. There is an old saying in the region: "The Devil hates salt."

Since salt represents life, to spill salt is a bad omen for it presages spilling blood. In alchemy it represents the principle of body, the female, and earth. On the Wiccan and ceremonial altars it represents the element of earth. In the old British custom of "first-footing" (being the first person of the new year to set foot across another's doorstep), salt is one of the gifts presented by the first-footer to the homeowner.

Salt used to mark the line at the meal table between family or close friends and those who were casual visitors or menials. The former sat at the head of the table, while the latter sat "below the salt"—below where the salt cellar stood on the table.

Salt and incense were both religious and economic necessities of the ancient world. Via Lalaria, as one of the oldest roads in Italy, was used for moving the salt of Ostia to the Sabine country. Herodotus mentions the caravan route connecting the many oases of the Libyan desert as a road for the transportation of salt.

In Wiccan rituals, sea salt is the preferred type, although any regular salt is acceptable. There are various ways of processing sea salt, the traditional and possibly the oldest and purest method being by allowing the wind and sun alone to dry ocean brine that is channeled from the open sea into pristine shallow clay ponds. In this manner, Celtic Brittany farmers produce some of the finest and purest sea salt in the world.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a mountain range in northern Pakistan, between the valleys of the Indus and Jhelum rivers. The range stretches for a length of approximately 300 km, with elevations to 1,522 m (Mount Sakesar). The Salt Range constitutes a cuesta-like ledge below the southern edge of the Potwar Plateau. It is composed of crystalline rocks overlain with limestones and dolomites. There are large deposits of rock salt at Khewra and Nurpur and other sites. On the slopes there are separate pine, acacia, and olive groves.



the name of a class of chemical compounds that are crystalline under ordinary conditions and for which an ionic structure is typical. According to the theory of electrolytic dissociation, salts are chemical compounds that in solution dissociate into positively charged ions, or cations (mainly, of metals), and negatively charged ions, or anions. The various types of salts include normal, acid, basic, double, mixed, and complex salts. The most common laboratory method for the preparation of salts is the reactions of acids with bases, as well as reactions of acids with metals and, in many cases (depending on the electromotive forces series), reactions of salts themselves with metals.

A characteristic property of salts is solubility in polar solvents, especially water. In nature, accumulations of salts are formed mainly by sedimentation from aqueous solutions in inland sea basins (Aral Sea, Dead Sea) or in inlets almost cut off from the sea (Kara-Bogaz-Gol), as well as in closed mainland lakes (El’ton, Baskunchak).

Salts were known in antiquity. In addition to their traditional use in foods and medicine, salts came to be used industrially with the development of the chemical, glassmaking, leather, textile, and metallurgical industries. Some salts are used as mineral fertilizers.


Nekrasov, B. V. Osnovy obshchei khimii, vols. [1–2], 3rd ed. Moscow, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about salt?

Used as seasoning in food, salt symbolizes flavor or piquancy. As one of the three primary elements of matter in alchemy representing—in contrast to mercury and sulfur—the principle of fixity and solidity, salt symbolizes someone who is steadfast and dependable, “the salt of the earth.”

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


The reaction product when a metal displaces the hydrogen of an acid; for example, H2SO4+2NaOH→Na2SO4(a salt) + 2H2O.
To add an accelerator or retardant to cement.
(mining engineering)
To introduce extra amounts of a valuable or waste mineral into a sample to be assayed.
To artificially enrich, as a mine, usually with fraudulent intent.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a white powder or colourless crystalline solid, consisting mainly of sodium chloride and used for seasoning and preserving food
2. preserved in, flooded with, containing, or growing in salt or salty water
3. Chem any of a class of usually crystalline solid compounds that are formed from, or can be regarded as formed from, an acid and a base by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms in the acid molecules by positive ions from the base


Strategic Arms Limitation Talks or Treaty
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Symbolic Assembly Language Trainer. Assembly-like language implemented in BASIC by Kevin Stock, now at Encore in France.


Sam And Lincoln Threaded language. A threaded extensible variant of BASIC. "SALT", S.D. Fenster et al, BYTE (Jun 1985) p.147.


A tiny bit of near-random data inserted where too much regularity would be undesirable; a data frob (sense 1). For example, the Unix crypt(3) manual page mentions that "the salt string is used to perturb the DES algorithm in one of 4096 different ways."
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(1) See password salt.

(2) (Speech Application Language Tags) Extensions to HTML, XHTML and XML for voice recognition and synthesized speech and audio output. SALT is designed to support mixed modes including audio, video, text and graphics, depending on the device in the user's hands. For more information, visit the SALT Forum at
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.


Salt is one of the most abundant chemicals on Earth. Dreaming about it suggests that you may be thinking about or desiring those things that are dependable and, at the same time, exciting (salt = spice of life). If you associate an individual with the salt in your dreams you may be giving that person the attributes that were just mentioned.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The result indicates that seedlings raised from seeds with moisture contents ranged between 5.18% and 5.72% performed better at selected salinity (40 mM L-1) and alkalinity (15 mM L-1) with higher chlorophyll contents, total soluble sugar and root activity but lower MDA content, and showed neutral and alkaline salt resistant capabilities.
Design of the simulated saline and alkaline conditions: Two neutral salts (NaCl: Na2SO4) and alkaline salts (NaHCO3: Na2CO3) were both mixed in a 9:1 molar ratio and applied to the saline stress and alkaline stress groups respectively.
A 9: 1 molar mixture of two neutral salts (NaCl: [Na.sub.2]S[O.sub.4]) or two alkaline salts (NaHC[O.sub.3] :[Na.sub.2]C[O.sub.3]) was added to half-strength Hoagland's nutrient solution and used for salt and alkali stress treatment groups, respectively.
It remains to be seen whether the industry can switch quickly to alkaline salts of lauric acid.
Control of brown stain in eastern white pine with alkaline salts. Forest Prod.
* Alkaline salts. Another variable exists when alkaline salts, which are in the ground and even sometimes found in the concrete, come to the surface.