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

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 Tasting Notes: American Rosé Zesty and savory, with lingering citrus, apple and saline flavors. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "American Rosés Without Clichés," 5 July 2018 Gently Draw Out Nasal Congestion To clear congestion, Bhatia recommends a saline spray that uses salt water to cleanse the passages. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "6 All-Natural Strategies for Fighting the Cold and Flu This Winter," 8 Jan. 2019 Not only had the hospital charged $55 for saline spray that his wife never received, but his son had been billed nearly $3,500 for one night in NICU and an additional $2,226 for another night’s stay in a regular hospital room. Stephanie Booth, Fox News, "Is your hospital bill accurate?," 27 Sep. 2018 So when a new Louisville company, Mojo Hydration, started offering Louisville City players a saline water concoction through an IV to help with post-game rehydration, Totsch didn't hesitate to give it a try. Zahria Rogers, The Courier-Journal, "Concierge IV hydration therapy service seeks to rehydrate Louisville," 12 July 2018 Baxter, one of the main producers of IV saline fluids, got power back its Puerto Rican plant in later December after weeks of outages. Maggie Fox, NBC News, "Saline shortage has hospitals scrambling as flu season hits," 10 Jan. 2018 Those gallons are mostly freshwater, but some near-coast power generators do use saline or brackish water to operate. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Thermal power plants use a lot of water, but that’s slowly changing," 13 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 fills involve injecting saline through a port to tighten the opening to the stomach. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Patients say Mexican weight-loss operations killed 1, harmed others," 28 Apr. 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

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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