Meaning of salvage in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsalvɪdʒ/

See synonyms for salvage

Translate salvage into Spanish


[with object]
  • 1Rescue (a wrecked or disabled ship or its cargo) from loss at sea.

    ‘an emerald and gold cross was salvaged from the wreck’
    • ‘The rescue boat attempted to salvage the smaller vessel yesterday.’
    • ‘A number of attempts were made to salvage the ship but when they failed she was dispersed using explosives.’
    • ‘Attempts to salvage the ship were hampered by thick fog on Saturday night and the bad weather continued yesterday morning, French coastguards said.’
    • ‘Yet when it happens there is a mad scramble to see what is possible in terms of rescue and then what needs to be put in place to avert marine ecological disaster, prior to rescuing or salvaging the vessel.’
    • ‘Its richest inhabitants earned their money salvaging ships that hit the reefs.’
    • ‘Japan wants to raise the ship to confirm whether it was a North Korean spy vessel, but China is cautious about salvaging the ship which sank in its economic waters.’
    • ‘The locals attempt to salvage its cargo of thousands of cases of whisky and outwit Home Guard Captain Waggett and the excise officers.’
    • ‘Forget bronze propellers - that is the part of the ship that was salvaged, including the stern deck gun carried for defensive purposes.’
    • ‘Some of the cargo was salvaged but during another storm in October the ship broke up.’
    • ‘Tokyo has determined that salvaging the ship is technically feasible and believes it needs about three weeks of preparation and one month to actually raise the ship.’
    • ‘This massive wreck has been salvaged for its copper ingot cargo, but is still reasonably intact.’
    • ‘Japan has conveyed its desire to salvage the ship from where it lies in the East China sea, but China has yet to agree to the request.’
    • ‘Over the stern the rudder rests folded towards the seabed at 30m, but the propeller was salvaged soon after the ship went down.’
    • ‘Rescuers found 80 bodies trapped in the hull when they salvaged the boat from the riverbed.’
    • ‘Since then, the wreck must have been salvaged, because the deck and sides of the hull have collapsed and most of it is only a metre or two above the seabed.’
    • ‘Despite the interference of souvenir seekers and vandals, they managed to salvage most of the ship's machinery.’
    • ‘The ship temporarily lodged on rocks at Rubha Mor, allowing much of the cargo to be salvaged.’
    • ‘Hardwood from the cargo was still being salvaged as recently as 1992.’
    • ‘The shoreline was cluttered with the rusting hulks of old ships that had been hauled out of the sea and hundreds of people were crawling over the wrecks salvaging anything of value.’
    • ‘The timbers and tank for the structure were salvaged from a wrecked ship, the Martha Ridgway.’
    rescue, save, recover, retrieve, raise, reclaim, get back, restore, reinstate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Retrieve or preserve (something) from potential loss or adverse circumstances.
      ‘it was the only crumb of comfort he could salvage from the ordeal’
      • ‘The threat to Mr Trimble's leadership will be assessed at the launch of a new round of intense talks aimed at salvaging the peace process in Downing Street today.’
      • ‘But public relations guru Max Clifford said he needs to start a media campaign to help him ‘win friends and influence people’ if he is to stand any chance of salvaging his career.’
      • ‘He still ‘feels like a Celtic player’ but appreciates there is no prospect of him salvaging his reputation under O'Neill.’
      • ‘It needed an inspired performance by goalkeeper Shay Given and a much more defensive and conservative second-half performance to salvage a point.’
      • ‘Colombia's peace process was on the brink of collapse yesterday, a day after President Andres Pastrana rejected an 11 th-hour rebel proposal for salvaging the talks.’
      • ‘After salvaging a round of 70 thanks to two late birdies, Woods will set out this afternoon with Sergio Garcia in a reprise of the 1999 US PGA Championship at Medinah.’
      • ‘Engaging in a public dialogue with ‘someone of his calibre’ may in the end enable them to salvage their dignity and the respect of the faithful.’
      • ‘Paul Byrne went close to salvaging some pride for Newry when his low shot fizzed just wide, but a third Linfield goal in the 79th minute killed off the game as a contest.’
      • ‘Ibra has repeatedly said that salvaging the bank through a rights issue would be the best and cheapest option on the table compared to other choices, such as a merger, acquisition or liquidation.’
      • ‘He hit two sixes and 15 fours in an unbeaten 105 to salvage a draw for his side on the final day in Cape Town.’
      • ‘The comeback was not be a winning one as Penrith added a fourth goal to salvage the draw.’
      • ‘At rain sodden Dr. Cullen Park last Saturday the Wexford border men were within seconds of a repeat victory, only a injury time point from Alan O'Brien salvaging a share of the spoils for the relieved townsmen.’
      • ‘In the last minute of injury time Ireland closed a one-goal deficit with Germany to salvage a draw.’
      • ‘Redhill and Old Coulsdon managed to salvage a draw on Sunday after North Kent failed to get the one run needed off their final ball to win the match.’
      • ‘Hopes of salvaging a draw were ended, however, when Sheffield hit back four minutes later with a third goal after keeper Sam Hoyle saved one shot but the rebound fell to the visitors' skipper to score.’
      • ‘It was the German keeper who spurned Hearts plenty last season, especially at Ibrox and it was earlier this year that a last-minute tackle from Lorenzo Amoruso prevented Mark de Vries from salvaging a draw and a point in Glasgow.’
      • ‘Farm supports will be central to salvaging the talks and averting a collapse in the process when the 145 member states of the WTO meet at a ministerial conference in Hong Kong in December.’
      • ‘The government had insisted that GAM accept the special autonomy arrangement and lay down its weapons in order to resume peace talks aimed at salvaging a peace pact signed in December 2002.’
      • ‘I later discovered that Ruud van Nistelrooy had pulled back two goals, to salvage a draw, which is a good away result in the Champions League.’
      retain, preserve, conserve
      View synonyms
  • 2Philippines Apprehend and execute (a suspected criminal) without trial.

    • ‘those who are salvaged simply disappear from their homes or workplaces’


mass noun
  • 1The rescue of a wrecked or disabled ship or its cargo from loss at sea.

    as modifier ‘a salvage operation was under way’
    • ‘Smit Marine, which is running salvage operations on both ships, has been both airlifting fuel off the Sagitarius and burning it off.’
    • ‘The technical details of its salvage are one of the truly great stories of deep-sea salvage operations.’
    • ‘A salvage operation was underway to find the helicopters' black box flight recorders and weapons.’
    • ‘A salvage operation is trying to save the most important works, including an antique carpet from the main hall.’
    • ‘A salvage operation by a local company in Scapa Flow has retrieved a massive anchor from the sea bed - three months after it was lost by a visiting oil tanker.’
    • ‘A salvage operation was already underway last night, while an aircraft was expected to fly over at first light this morning to check for signs of fuel leaking from the hull.’
    • ‘They also found remnant ingots from the 1951/52 salvage operation.’
    • ‘The party had been arranged in honour of Tim Hayter, a New Zealand specialist diver who had been working on salvage operations in the Straits of Jeddah.’
    • ‘Those behind the find are now reported to be planning to drum up finance for a major salvage operation this summer to raise the 85 ft long, 112 ft wide craft.’
    • ‘Bad weather yesterday hampered the salvage operation on a cargo ship which sank in the English Channel taking with it £30m-worth of luxury cars.’
    • ‘Redding said the next phase of the Smit Marine salvage operation would be to complete preparations for entry into Port Elizabeth for discharge of the remaining cargo on board the vessel.’
    rescue, saving, recovery, raising, reclamation, restoration, salvation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The cargo saved from a wrecked or sunken ship.
      ‘salvage taken from a ship that had sunk in the river’
      • ‘The salvage included a representative group of the earliest Colombian silver cobs, some dispersed privately, others offered at the Christie's New York auction of June, 1988.’
      • ‘Only Key West, the last link in the chain, had anything like a town, its fortune based on selling salvage from ships wrecked on the reef that shadows the Keys.’
    2. 1.2The rescue of property or material from potential loss or destruction.
      ‘surgery resulted in the salvage of damaged myocardium’
      • ‘In the case of rehabilitation or remodeling, LEED points can be earned through salvage and reuse of materials.’
      • ‘It may be that the plane reached the site as a result of salvage or scavenging from a more wealthy site in the neighbourhood which had been abandoned.’
      • ‘Should you find the entire sub floor to be too badly damaged for salvage, it will be best to lay new one.’
      • ‘Why are there not temporary collecting bins provided throughout the area to facilitate the salvage of this valuable commodity, and save quite a lot of land-fill space?’
    3. 1.3Law Payment made or due to a person who has saved a ship or its cargo.
      ‘The reward for such assistance was a generous salvage payment based on the percentage of the value of the saved cargo and boat.’
      • ‘The Crown or the owner of the property pays this salvage payment, or the finder may receive the property instead of payment.’
      • ‘If the insurer exercises the option to replace the automobile or pays the actual cash value of the automobile, the salvage, if any, shall vest in the insurer.’
      • ‘Consequently, this case is a dispute over contribution to the salvage cost, instead of a dispute over the freight contract and therefore the arbitration clause in the Bill of Lading shall not apply.’


Mid 17th century (as a noun denoting payment for saving a ship or its cargo): from French, from medieval Latin salvagium, from Latin salvare ‘to save’. The verb dates from the late 19th century.