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

Medical staples, such as injectable antibiotics and saline solution (which is used to prepare injections), run out most often. The Economist, "A dire scarcity of drugs is worsening, in part, because they are so cheap," 14 Sep. 2019 Joly uses eyedroppers to measure out the peach bitters and … saline solution? Los Angeles Times, "Craft cocktails. Lobster. ‘1,000-Calorie Gratin.’ Opulence will reign at Emmys’ Governors Ball," 13 Sep. 2019 The details of the operation, which involves a drill and gallons of saline solution, shed light on how routine Andrews has made a complex procedure seem. The Si Staff,, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 Some protesters, outfitted with sanitary pads, gloves, saline solution, scissors, gauze and other supplies, are responsible for administering first aid. Washington Post, "Hand signals and Post-its: The Hong Kong protester playbook," 20 July 2019 Netthat the compound, made by using epoxy as a base and incorporating mango leaf extracts in a substrate of amorphous silica, achieved 99% inhibition of corrosion in commercial steel when immersed in a saline medium to mimic seawater. Ranjit Devraj, Quartz India, "Mango leaves: Indian scientists’ solution to a $2.5 trillion global shipping problem," 24 July 2019 Leirana comes from vineyards close to the sea, giving it a crisp acidic line and a saline quality that suggests shellfish and other seafood. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "Double down on an $11 French rosé during this heat wave," 19 July 2019 Repeat after us: Soap, saline, soft bras — and no touching! Lexy Lebsack,, "Everything You Want To Know About Nipple Piercings (& We Mean Everything)," 5 July 2019 Skin grafts also can't be stored easily or for a long period of time, just 10 days, at 4 degrees Celsius, in a saline-moisturized gauze. Suddaf Kauser Chaudry, CNN, "Artificial skin trial offers hope to Pakistan's acid attack victims," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The marrow, diluted in saline, was then dripped into Nancy’s bloodstream. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "The Promise and Price of Cellular Therapies," 15 July 2019 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

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

23 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for saline

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

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More Definitions for saline



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

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