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

Synonyms for saliva

Synonyms

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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 Medical studies show that the saliva of compassionate people contains more immunoglobulin A—an antibody that fights off infection. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 The 23andMe lab analyzes the genetic information in the saliva and digitally returns the results to the buyer. Marcus Crowder, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 June 2022 For now, private labs must do the work of creating genetic profiles that are compatible with those generated, much more easily, from a consumer’s saliva. New York Times, 27 Mar. 2022 The girl on July 6 identified Fuentes as her assailant, and police on Tuesday with a search warrant obtained a swab of Fuentes' saliva DNA, the affidavit states. Dakin Andone And Chuck Johnston, CNN, 14 July 2022 Monkeypox spreads through bodily fluids like saliva. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, 11 July 2022 In general, tests are able to detect an Omicron infection, but enough virus needs to have reproduced and appear at sufficiently high levels in the nose or saliva to be detectable. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2022 Surprisingly and disturbingly, the saliva of the nine-month-old babies of the women with PTSD also showed low cortisol. Rachel Yehuda, Scientific American, 18 June 2022 On a recent day, Nick Milcik, a research specialist in the Hopkins geriatrics department, was handling some cortisol samples taken from the saliva of surgical patients over time. Meredith Cohn, Washington Post, 18 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near saliva

salite

saliva

salival

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Statistics for saliva

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Saliva.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saliva. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for saliva

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

More from Merriam-Webster on saliva

Nglish: Translation of saliva for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of saliva for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about saliva

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