"to save" (from shipwreck, flood, fire, etc.), 1889, from salvage (n.). Related: Salvaged; salvaging.
c. 1200, savacioun, saluatiun, sauvacioun, etc., originally in the Christian sense, "the saving of the soul, deliverance from the power of sin and admission to eternal bliss," from Old French salvaciun and directly from Late Latin salvationem (nominative salvatio, a Church Latin translation of Greek soteria), noun of action from past-participle stem of salvare "to save" (see save (v.)).
The general (non-religious) sense of "protection or preservation from destruction, danger, calamity, etc." is attested by late 14c. Also from late 14c. as "source, cause, or means of salvation; a preserver, defender." Salvation Army, with quasi-military organization and a mission to spark revival among the masses, is attested from 1878; it was founded 1865 as the Christian Mission by Methodist evangelist the Rev. William Booth (1829-1912).
"apply medicinal or sacramental ointment to," Middle English salven, from Old English sealfian "anoint (a wound) with salve," from Proto-Germanic *salbojanan (source also of Dutch zalven, Old Frisian salva, German salben, Gothic salbon "to anoint"), from the root of salve (n.).
Figurative use is by late 12c. in reference to sin or vice; the non-religious sense of "to help, remedy, atone for" is by 1570s. Related: Salved; salving.
"medicinal ointment or adhesive preparation for external use on wounds and sores," Old English sealf "healing ointment," from West Germanic *salbo- "oily substance" (source also of Old Saxon salba, Middle Dutch salve, Dutch zalf, Old High German salba, German salbe "ointment"), from PIE *solpa-, from root *selp- "fat, butter" (source also of Greek elpos "fat, oil," Albanian gjalpë "butter," Sanskrit sarpis "melted butter"). Beekes, however, sees a Pre-Greek word.
The figurative sense of "something to soothe" wounded pride, etc. is from 1736; earlier figurative use was as "a spiritual or religious remedy" (12c.).
"to save from loss at sea," as a ship or goods, 1706, a back-formation from salvage (n.) or salvable. Related: Salved; salving.
"large, heavy plate or tray on which anything is presented," 1660s, formed in English on the model of platter, etc., from French salve "tray used for presenting objects to the king" (17c.), from Spanish salva "a foretasting of the food or drink" of one's master, to test it for poison (a procedure known as pre-gustation). Hence "tray on which food was placed to show it was safe to eat." The Spanish noun is from salvar "to save, render safe," from Late Latin salvare (see save (v.)).
Compare credenza, which means etymologically "belief" and began as the word for a sideboard on which taste-tested food was set. Middle English had salver in the sense of "a healer," used as an epithet of Jesus or the Virgin.
genus name of a large and diverse group of plants including the garden sage, 1844, from Latin salvia "the plant sage" (see sage (n.1)).
1719, an alteration of salva (1590s) "simultaneous discharge of guns, intended as a salute," from Italian salva "salute, volley" (French salve, 16c., is from Italian), from Latin salve "hail!," literally "be in good health!," the usual Roman greeting. It was regarded as the imperative of salvere "to be in good health," but it is properly the vocative of salvus "healthy" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").
The notion is of important visitors greeted with a volley of gunfire into the air; the word was applied afterward to any concentrated fire from a number of guns, originally artillery pieces (of firearms by 18c.). As a verb by 1839. The same noun in the Latin sense, via Medieval Latin, came into English in senses common 17c.-18c. but archaic now: "a saving clause or provision; a solution or explanation; an expedient," etc.