sa·​line | \ ˈsā-ˌlēn How to pronounce saline (audio) , -ˌlīn\

Definition of saline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : consisting of or containing salt a saline solution
2 : of, relating to, or resembling salt : salty a saline taste
3 : consisting of or relating to the salts of the alkali metals or of magnesium a saline cathartic



Definition of saline (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a metallic salt especially : a salt of potassium, sodium, or magnesium with a cathartic action
2 : a saline solution especially : one isosmotic with body fluids

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Other Words from saline


salinity \ sā-​ˈli-​nə-​tē How to pronounce salinity (audio) , sə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for saline

Synonyms: Adjective

brackish, briny, salt, salty

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of saline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Protest paraphernalia, including googles and saline solution to combat teargas, were found on the woman’s bed, her friends and family said. Time Staff, Time, "Another Hong Kong Protester Fell to Her Death After Leaving a Message for the Government," 5 July 2019 When available, whole blood is being used in place of a saline solution. Austin Taylor,, "Emergency medical crews in San Antonio will increase the use of whole blood to help trauma victims," 30 June 2019 In medical settings, pharmacists with sensitive equipment weigh dosages almost too small to see with the naked eye and then parse them out among measured saline solutions. Erin Allday,, "Fentanyl rising as killer in San Francisco — 57 dead in a year," 23 June 2019 By measuring the way electromagnetic waves traveled through fresh and saline water, researchers mapped out fresh-water reservoirs for the first time. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Scientists have discovered a sea of fresh water under the ocean," 22 June 2019 If patients are treated soon enough, saline solution can help stabilize them while their body fights the infection. NBC News, "What is Ebola? What to know about symptoms, vaccine, outbreaks," 12 June 2019 Using a humidifier and saline nasal spray is also helpful. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "How to Share a Bed (And Still Sleep Through the Night)," 3 May 2019 The details of problems with both silicone and saline implants were being offered Monday to a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel at the agency’s headquarters. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "Patients Continue to Report Problems With Breast Implants," 25 Mar. 2019 Currently, there are different types of inserts to consider: saline and silicone breast implants, according to the ASPS. Erin Nicole Celletti, Allure, "The Complete Guide to Breast Augmentation," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Rats then either received doses of CBD or saline directly into an artery in the knee joint. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Do Topical CBD Products Actually Do Anything for Pain?," 19 Apr. 2019 But even before Maria hit land, saline was already in short supply. Brian Krans, Fox News, "Drug shortages in ER are more common than you think," 22 July 2018 After each injection, prison officials sent saline through the IV to flush out any residue and ensure that all the drugs had entered the inmate's system. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Nebraska uses fentanyl for first time in execution," 14 Aug. 2018 Season the water with coarse kosher salt to taste, but don't make it as saline as seawater — more like tears. Gabrielle Hamilton, House Beautiful, "Gabrielle Hamilton's Olive Oil-Poached Tuna with Potatoes and Swiss Chard Stems," 12 Sep. 2012 Fish injected with both acid and morphine also showed some of these unusual behaviors, but to a much lesser extent, whereas fish injected with saline never behaved oddly. Ferris Jabr, Smithsonian, "It’s Official: Fish Feel Pain," 8 Jan. 2018 The ’15 Lafarge was rounder and saline, though without the energy of the Pernot, while the ’14 De Villaine Bouzeron was rich, full and lip-smacking, with both energy and salinity. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "The Aligoté Defense Rests," 28 June 2018 The procedure washes the uterus with saline, which is then analyzed for biomarkers — DNA fragments and other byproducts shed by tumors — to determine if cancer is present. Claire Altschuler,, "Racing against cancer: New efforts to save lives with early detection," 21 May 2018 The moment the fangs touch the glove, the venom glands plunge like hypodermic needles, shooting poison into saline. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, "A Rattle with Death in Yosemite," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saline.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of saline


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1662, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for saline


Middle English, from Anglo-French salin, from Latin salinus, from sal salt — more at salt

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Statistics for saline

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for saline

The first known use of saline was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of saline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

technical : containing salt



English Language Learners Definition of saline (Entry 2 of 2)

technical : a mixture of salt and water


sa·​line | \ ˈsā-ˌlēn How to pronounce saline (audio) , -ˌlīn How to pronounce saline (audio) \

Medical Definition of saline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : consisting of or containing salt a saline solution
2 : of, relating to, or resembling salt : salty a saline taste
3 : consisting of or relating to the salts especially of lithium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium a saline cathartic
4 : relating to or being abortion induced by the injection of a highly concentrated saline solution into the amniotic sac saline amniocentesis



Medical Definition of saline (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a metallic salt especially : a salt of potassium, sodium, or magnesium with a cathartic action
b : an aqueous solution of one or more such salts
2 : a saline solution used in physiology especially : physiological saline

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More from Merriam-Webster on saline

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with saline

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for saline

Spanish Central: Translation of saline

Nglish: Translation of saline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of saline for Arabic Speakers

Comments on saline

What made you want to look up saline? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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