saliva

noun
sa·​li·​va | \ sə-ˈlī-və How to pronounce saliva (audio) \

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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Examples of saliva in a Sentence

our mouths filled with saliva when we smelled the delicious dinner
Recent Examples on the Web Gallo was awaiting the results of another saliva test Tuesday evening. Dallas News, "Another negative COVID-19 result for Rangers OF Joey Gallo raises questions about test accuracy," 7 July 2020 The 26-year-old Gallo initially took a saliva test as part of the team’s intake process June 27, and got a positive result two days later. Stephen Hawkins, Houston Chronicle, "Asymptomatic Rangers slugger Gallo tests positive for virus," 6 July 2020 Students and staff at the University of Illinois can be tested for the coronavirus with a saliva sample instead of an uncomfortable nasal swab. USA TODAY, "Scary spikes, missed warnings, saliva tests: News from around our 50 states," 10 July 2020 The state also announced a partnership with Arizona State University to bring its saliva diagnostic test to the general public. Rachel Leingang, The Arizona Republic, "Ducey announces efforts to expand COVID-19 testing through lab capacity and new sites," 10 July 2020 Hong Kong updated its covid-19 prevention and control measures this week, requiring all aircrew members arriving at the city's airport starting Wednesday to provide throat saliva samples. Washington Post, "Drug giants launch $1 billion fund to develop new antibiotics," 9 July 2020 Among the new rules in 2020 is no spitting, and every catcher and first baseman would appreciate that opponents don’t share their saliva. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Buster Posey on catcher’s conundrum: ‘Inherent risk’ of no social distance," 8 July 2020 In other words, animals can have this family of enzymes in their saliva without having a venomous variety. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "These worm-like amphibians may have venomous saliva," 3 July 2020 People emit streams of saliva and lung gunk in a vast continuum of sizes, and measuring microscopic ones that float in the air is trickier than measuring larger, visible droplets that quickly fall to the ground. Megan Molteni, Wired, "How Masks Went From Don’t-Wear to Must-Have," 2 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for saliva

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for saliva

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Saliva.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saliva. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for saliva

saliva

noun
How to pronounce saliva (audio)

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 How to pronounce saliva (audio) \

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 How to pronounce saliva (audio) \

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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