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1. A city of southern India southwest of Chennai. It is a trade center with an important textile industry.
2. A city of northeast Massachusetts northeast of Boston. Founded in 1626, it is noted as the site of witchcraft trials (1692) and of Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables.
3. The capital of Oregon, in the northwest part of the state on the Willamette River south-southwest of Portland. Founded c. 1840 by Methodist missionaries, it became territorial capital in 1851 and state capital in 1859.


1. (Placename) a city in S India, in Tamil Nadu: textile industries. Pop: 693 236 (2001)
2. (Placename) a city in NE Massachusetts, on the Atlantic: scene of the execution of 19 people after the witch hunts of 1692. Pop: 42 067 (2003 est)
3. (Placename) a city in the NW USA, the state capital of Oregon: food-processing. Pop: 142 914 (2003 est)
4. (Bible) an Old Testament name for Jerusalem (Genesis 14:18; Psalms 76:2). See Jerusalem


(ˈseɪ ləm)

1. a seaport in NE Massachusetts: founded 1626; execution of persons accused of witchcraft 1692. 38,220.
2. the capital of Oregon, in the NW part, on the Willamette River. 122,566.
3. a city in central Tamil Nadu, in S India. 515,000.
4. an ancient city of Canaan, later identified with Jerusalem. Gen. 14:18; Psalms 76:2.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Salem - capital of the state of Oregon in the northwestern part of the state on the Willamette RiverSalem - capital of the state of Oregon in the northwestern part of the state on the Willamette River
Beaver State, OR, Oregon - a state in northwestern United States on the Pacific
2.Salem - a city in northeastern Massachusetts; site of the witchcraft trials in 1692
Bay State, Massachusetts, Old Colony, MA - a state in New England; one of the original 13 colonies
3.Salem - a city in southern India
Bharat, India, Republic of India - a republic in the Asian subcontinent in southern Asia; second most populous country in the world; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947
References in classic literature ?
Foot Note: The Puritans had a liking for Biblical names for their children, and they sometimes gave names out of the Bible to places, Salem means Peace.
And thus, with prayers, and pious conversation, and frequent singing of hymns, which the breezes caught from their lips and scattered far over the desolate waves, they prosecuted their voyage, and sailed into the harbor of Salem in the month of June.
I was so ashamed to allude to a commonplace thing like my box, to a scholar and a master at Salem House, that we had gone some little distance from the yard before I had the hardihood to mention it.
The Master at Salem House lifted the latch of one of a number of little black doors that were all alike, and had each a little diamond-paned window on one side, and another little diamond- paned window above; and we went into the little house of one of these poor old women, who was blowing a fire to make a little saucepan boil.
Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset into the street at Salem village; but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife.
But, were I to go on with thee, how should I meet the eye of that good old man, our minister, at Salem village?
In my native town of Salem, at the head of what, half a century ago, in the days of old King Derby, was a bustling wharf -- but which is now burdened with decayed wooden warehouses, and exhibits few or no symptoms of commercial life; except, perhaps, a bark or brig, half-way down its melancholy length, discharging hides; or, nearer at hand, a Nova Scotia schooner, pitching out her cargo of firewood -- at the head, I say, of this dilapidated wharf, which the tide often overflows, and along which, at the base and in the rear of the row of buildings, the track of many languid years is seen in a border of unthrifty grass -- here, with a view from its front windows adown this not very enlivening prospect, and thence across the harbour, stands a spacious edifice of brick.
Such occasions might remind the elderly citizen of that period, before the last war with England, when Salem was a port by itself; not scorned, as she is now, by her own merchants and ship-owners, who permit her wharves to crumble to ruin while their ventures go to swell, needlessly and imperceptibly, the mighty flood of commerce at New York or Boston.
Elsewhere match that bloom of theirs, ye cannot, save in Salem, where they tell me the young girls breathe such musk, their sailor sweethearts smell them miles off shore, as though they were drawing nigh the odorous Moluccas instead of the Puritanic sands.
Bell had agreed to give him a series of private lessons for $350 a year; and as the child lived with his grandmother in the city of Salem, sixteen miles from Boston, it was agreed that Bell should make his home with the Sanders family.
And in Salem, too, the home of the witchcraft superstition
Therefore, as those young prophets then with care Sought lost Eliah, so in each place these Nigh to Bethabara--in Jericho The city of palms, AEnon, and Salem old, Machaerus, and each town or city walled On this side the broad lake Genezaret, Or in Peraea--but returned in vain.