Take it with a grain of salt: Meaning, synonyms & origin + 9 example sentences

What does “Take with a grain of salt” mean?

“Take a grain of salt” means that, any information or something is not authentic and correct. In other words it means, to look at something with doubtfulness or to consider something skeptical. The idiom has the connotative meaning of taking something as incorrect, or a feeling of uncertainty or lack of belief.

9 examples of how to use “Take with a grain of salt” in a sentence

  • Most of the people around the world are taking Covid-19 seriously but a few are taking it with a grain of salt.
  • I have told you to work hard but repeatedly you are taking your exams with a grain of salt.
  • If you take my advice with a grain of salt, you will suffer a lot.
  • Every day we come across shocking news but most of us take it with a grain of salt.
  • These reports must be taken with a grain of salt because there is no evidence.
  • We must focus on the weather reports; if we take them with a grain of salt then we will face the music.
  • Those countries who had taken covid-19 with a grain of salt have now the highest death rates.
  • You are always irrational in your explanation that’s why everyone takes you with a grain of salt.
  • Uncertainty of the future is there but don’t take your health with a grain of salt.

The origin of “Take with a grain of salt”

The idiom “take with a grain of salt” is a quite older expression according to history. In ancient time it was not being used in the context of its present meaning. The idiom has its roots in the history of medicine; according to which “Pliny the Elder is said to have translated an ancient cure for poison in 77 A.D., advising that the antidote be taken with a grain of salt. Now a day, it is in use within the English language for the meaning of skepticism or to show doubt in something. The present meaning of the idiom was accepted since 1600s. According to other sources; another form of the idiom “the pinch of salt” was introduced in the later time, somewhere in the mid 1900s.

On the other hand, the logic behind this idiom is that, it is connected with the fact that it is more effortless to ingest food when it is taken with some grain of salt.

Some other sources also relate this idiom with Roman general Pompey; according to his view, swallowing salt with different types of poisons could built a strong immunity and resistance against the actual death causing poison. Salt has been used with many eatable products and even with minor poisons in order to ingest it easily and to boost the immunity. Salt has many uses but the idiom has its hidden meaning and relation with these types of the usage of salt throughout the history. There are different forms of this idiom in American and British English. In Britain it is used in the form of “with a pinch of salt” and the Americans use it in the form of “with a grain of salt.

Synonyms for “Take with a grain of salt”

Skepticism, doubt, disbelief, mistrust, pessimism, unbelief, dubiety, cynicism, distrust, uncertainty, indecision, hesitation, confusion, unimportant, insignificant, trivial, inconsequential, minor, trifling, pointless, irrelevant, non essential, light, no importance, futile, senseless, useless, wasted, doubter, questioner,

Idioms related to “Take with a grain of salt”

  • Smell a rat
  • Doubting Thomas
  • From Missouri
  • Giving the benefit of the doubt
  • Giving someone the cold shoulder
  • Don’t amount to a hill of beans
  • In a fog
  • Bad egg
  • Small potatoes
  • A fish story