verb [ trans. ]
rescue (a wrecked or disabled ship or its cargo) from loss at sea : an emerald and gold cross was salvaged from the wreck.
• retrieve or preserve (something) from potential loss or adverse circumstances : it was the only crumb of comfort he could salvage from the ordeal.
the rescue of a wrecked or disabled ship or its cargo from loss at sea : [as adj. ] a salvage operation was under way.
• the cargo saved from a wrecked or sunken ship : salvage taken from a ship that had sunk in the river.
• the rescue of property or material from potential loss or destruction.
• Law payment made or due to a person who has saved a ship or its cargo.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent. (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 cent.