n. pl. salmon or salm·ons
a. Any of various large salmonid food and game fishes of the genera Oncorhynchus and Salmo of northern waters, having pink or red flesh and characteristically swimming from salt to fresh water to spawn.
b. The flesh of a salmon, used as food.
2. A yellowish pink to light or reddish orange.
[Middle English samoun, from Old French saumon, from Latin salmō, salmōn-; see sel- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)salmon
Atlantic salmon smolt
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.