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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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

Feline leukemia, a usually fatal cancer caused by a retrovirus, spreads from cat to cat via saliva, when the animals lick, bite, or groom one another. Dr. Rob Sharp, Country Living, "Does my Indoor Cat Need Feline Leukemia Vaccine?," 28 June 2010 His tongue had fallen out of his mouth and a small pool of saliva surrounded it. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award runner-up: "Lizard Lover" by Christine Vines," 2 June 2018 To do so, Ms Ilardo travelled to Indonesia and recruited 59 Bajau who were willing to give her samples of saliva for DNA analysis and also to have their spleens measured ultrasonically. The Economist, "A group of people with an amphibious life have evolved traits to match," 21 Apr. 2018 According to KidsHealth, if the infection advances, patients may experience double vision, abnormal breathing issues, difficulty swallowing or increased production of saliva in addition to other issues. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Georgia boy, 4, treated for rabies after mom shoots raccoon dead in porch attack," 19 Sep. 2018 Think: Admit it, you've been known to occasionally use a bit of saliva to rub off a smudge now and then. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Here are your 2018 Ig Nobel Prize winners," 13 Sep. 2018 Those who do tend to have dry mouth, which typically lowers the flow of saliva in your mouth. Samantha Lefave, Redbook, "Why You Should Never Ignore Sweet-Smelling Urine (or These Other Body Odors)," 3 Aug. 2018 Plus, sugarless gum improves the flow of saliva, which further suppresses your appetite, Dr. Rush adds. Danielle Braff, Woman's Day, "8 Ways to Stay Full Longer," 9 Nov. 2010 Eventually the virus also ends up in the saliva, through which it can be transmitted to others. Tara C. Smith, SELF, "What Happens When You Get Rabies? An Epidemiologist Explains," 24 Jan. 2019

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

15 Mar 2019

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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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