saliva

noun
sa·​li·​va | \sə-ˈlī-və \

Definition of saliva 

: a slightly alkaline secretion of water, mucin, protein, salts, and often a starch-splitting enzyme (such as ptyalin) that is secreted into the mouth by salivary glands, lubricates ingested food, and often begins the breakdown of starches

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Synonyms for saliva

Synonyms

drool, slaver, slobber, spit, spittle

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Examples of saliva in a Sentence

our mouths filled with saliva when we smelled the delicious dinner

Recent Examples on the Web

A few years ago, out of curiosity, Johnson mailed off his saliva to 23andMe to test his DNA. Christine Willmsen, The Seattle Times, "Lynnwood man tried to use a home DNA test to qualify as a minority business owner. He was denied — now he’s suing.," 13 Sep. 2018 Other players in the field, including Profile by Sanford and Nutrigenomix Inc., use a cheek swab or saliva test. Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, "Your DNA, Your Diet: How Nutrition Is Being Personalized," 30 Aug. 2018 Henipavirus is a genus that includes Nipah virus, a potentially fatal disease that can be transmitted to humans by bats through bites and contact with saliva or urine. New York Times, "Soccer Players and Their Coach Are on the Mend, Thailand Says," 11 July 2018 Bodily fluids including urine, sweat, saliva, ocular fluids like tears, and interstitial fluids, which bathe cells, also contain glucose and are easier to get to than blood. Deborah Gage, WSJ, "Wearable Health Monitors: Do They Work?," 16 Sep. 2018 Each animal that comes under the care of the Myanmar team undergoes extensive testing, with researchers collecting saliva, urine, feces and blood. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Never-Before-Seen Virus Has Been Detected in Myanmar’s Bats," 11 July 2018 The disease-causing prion is found in many tissues and fluids of infected animals, including saliva, brain, lymph and muscle. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Baiting and feeding bans initiated due to CWD-positive deer farm in Marinette County," 6 July 2018 Mosquito bite sensitivity can lead to allergic reactions to mosquito saliva, which can range from mild to severe. Patty Khuly, miamiherald, "Protect your dogs and cats from swarms of mosquitoes. Here's how to do it.," 29 June 2018 Bark scorpion bites can cause additional symptoms, such as excessive saliva, difficulty swallowing, agitation and twitchy eyes — any of these need to be treated at an emergency room. Kelsey Mo, azcentral, "Top 5 calls to Poison Control and what the hotline advises you should do," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saliva.' 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 saliva

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for saliva

Latin

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Dictionary Entries near saliva

Salisbury steak

Salish

salite

saliva

salival

salivant

salivarium

Statistics for saliva

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for saliva

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

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More Definitions for saliva

saliva

noun

English Language Learners Definition of saliva

: the liquid produced in your mouth that keeps your mouth moist and makes it easier to swallow food

saliva

noun
sa·​li·​va | \sə-ˈlī-və \

Kids Definition of saliva

: a watery fluid that moistens chewed food and contains enzymes which break down starch and that is secreted into the mouth from three pairs of glands near the mouth

saliva

noun
sa·​li·​va | \sə-ˈlī-və \

Medical Definition of saliva 

: a slightly alkaline secretion of water, mucin, protein, salts, and often a starch-splitting enzyme (as ptyalin) that is secreted into the mouth by salivary glands, lubricates ingested food, and often begins the breakdown of starches

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More from Merriam-Webster on saliva

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with saliva

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for saliva

Spanish Central: Translation of saliva

Nglish: Translation of saliva for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of saliva for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about saliva

Comments on saliva

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