Salient vs salience

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Salient is an adjective meaning extremely necessary or stands out from the rest. It is also a synonym for jumping and rocketing upwards. Lastly, it is sometimes a noun used for an object that juts out from the rest of the environment, especially if it is part of military defenses.

A common phrase is to call a good or valid point in an argument a salient point.

Salience is the noun form of the condition of being salient. It may also be used to call something a highlight, or a definitive attribute.

Saliency is a synonym for salience and there is no difference between the two. Salience is more popular, being used slightly more than three times for each saliency. The exception is in the business world, where saliency is used as a term for brand awareness; in other words, the degree to which the brand sets itself apart from competition.


Research in social psychology tells us that in every culture, people tend to focus on what is most salient. [Huffington Post]

The most salient example, she says, is that one of the most prominent indicators on any LinkedIn profile is the number of connections a person has. [Business Insider]

It is important that we retrieve the salience of Republic Day from the stars and the spangles that will surround it. [Hindustan Times]

Typically, this is about attracting tourism – but it can have greater salience. [The Guardian]

One of these is the saliency of issues – the more a voter believes an issue to be important, the more they are likely to vote for a party they trust on that issue. [The Guardian]