Jawaid Bhai has posted a detailed reply regarding meaning of salat citing different lughats. People have been inheriting Arab culture and practices of elders for a long time but it has not produced the expected results as per Quran.
I had been following these rituals since my childhood as I was born into a sunni muslim family. Then Allah SWT bless me with the urge to learn Quranic Arabic. When I started reflecting upon the verses in Arabic language it opened a whole new realm for me. It took me many years to break the shackles of rituals but Alhamdolillah I found answers to my questions in Quran. Traditional translations and hadith could not satisfy my questions.
I believe that everyone has the right to their understanding so if you believe that ritualism is required in Deen then no one can force you to stop practicing it. In my humble understanding there is no ritualism in Deen and what people practice is a culture developed over a long time.