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

Examples of saliva in a Sentence

  1. our mouths filled with saliva when we smelled the delicious dinner

Recent Examples of saliva from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of saliva

Latin

saliva Synonyms


SALIVA Defined for English Language Learners

saliva

noun

Definition of saliva for English Language Learners

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


SALIVA Defined for Kids

saliva

noun sa·li·va \ sə-ˈlī-və \

Definition of saliva for Students

: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

Medical Dictionary

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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