- any medicinal ointment applied to wounds, skin irritations, burns, etc. for purposes of soothing or healing
- anything that soothes or heals; balm: a salve for one's conscience
Origin of salveMiddle English from Old English sealf, akin to German salbe from Indo-European base an unverified form selp-, fat, butter from source Sanskrit sarpis-, melted butter
transitive verbsalved, salv′ing
- Archaic to apply salve to (wounds, etc.)
- to soothe; smooth over; assuage
Origin of salveME salven < OE sealfian < the n.