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Slang Dictionary: Salutatorian

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What Does "Salutatorian" Mean

What Does “Salutatorian” Mean?

“Salutatorian” is a term used to refer to the student who achieves the second-highest academic ranking in their graduating class. Similar to the valedictorian, the salutatorian is recognized for their outstanding academic performance, often delivering a welcome address, known as the salutatory address, during the graduation ceremony.

Related Words

  • Valedictorian: The student who achieves the highest academic ranking in a graduating class and often delivers the valedictory address.
  • Honors Student: A general term used to describe students who excel academically and often take advanced courses.

Where Does This Word Come From?

The term “salutatorian” shares its origin with “salutation,” and it comes from the Latin word “salutare,” meaning “to greet” or “to address.” In the context of graduation ceremonies, the salutatorian is traditionally responsible for delivering a greeting or welcome to the audience.

Who Uses This Word?

“Salutatorian” is a term commonly used in educational institutions, especially during graduation ceremonies and academic discussions. It is a title of honor that recognizes exceptional academic achievements.

Examples of Using This Word

  1. “She was proud to be named the salutatorian of her graduating class.”
  2. “The salutatorian’s address emphasized the importance of education and unity among classmates.”

What to Replace This Word in Academic Writing

In formal academic writing, it is appropriate to use terms like “second-highest ranked student” or “student with the second-highest academic achievement” instead of “salutatorian” to ensure clarity and maintain a formal tone.

Quote of the Day

“Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” – Oprah Winfrey

(Highlighting the significance of academic achievements, including the titles of valedictorian and salutatorian, in opening doors to a brighter future)


The slang term “salutatorian” recognizes the exceptional achievements of students who rank second in their graduating class. Like the valedictorian, the salutatorian serves as an inspiration to others, symbolizing hard work, dedication, and a commitment to academic excellence. Their welcome address often sets a positive and welcoming tone for the graduation ceremony, celebrating the achievements of the entire class.