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

Simply fill it with your saliva and mail it to the lab. Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "Sale alert! 23andMe's comprehensive DNA kit is now 30% off," 14 June 2018 Marijuana use only shows up for 36 hours or so in tests on oral fluids, including saliva. Katie Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, "With marijuana sales set to begin, employers grapple with drug tests," 12 June 2018 Her saliva and urine also turned out to contain mosaic cells, some of which carried the mutation. New York Times, "Every Cell in Your Body Has the Same DNA. Except It Doesn’t.," 21 May 2018 So does weeks of coughing up sputum (a mix of mucus and saliva). Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s When to See a Doctor About That Persistent Cough," 7 Apr. 2018 Mumps, which is typically spread through saliva and mucus, causes fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite and the characteristic puffy cheeks and jaw from swollen salivary glands. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Mumps outbreaks linked to waning vaccine protection, study says," 21 Mar. 2018 For verification, participants took a saliva test that detects cotinine, an indicator of nicotine exposure. Catherine Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can Facebook help you quit smoking? Study indicates yes," 24 May 2018 Scientists are hard at work trying to perfect apps that can measure your heart and respiration rates, perform blood and saliva tests—even evaluate your cough. Pm Editors, Popular Mechanics, "110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years," 10 Dec. 2012 Learning from California, Utah and Colorado crime labs, Oregon's lab went from looking for any specific semen, saliva or bodily fluid samples based on an assault report to finding the best three samples of foreign male DNA. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "State releases audit on crime lab's processing of untested sexual assault kits," 2 May 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

11 Oct 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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Comments on saliva

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