sal·​i·​vate | \ ˈsa-lə-ˌvāt \
salivated; salivating

Definition of salivate

intransitive verb

1 : to have a flow of saliva especially in excess
2 : to show great desire or anticipation : drool

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Other Words from salivate

salivation \ ˌsa-​lə-​ˈvā-​shən \ noun
salivator \ ˈsa-​lə-​ˌvā-​tər \ noun

Synonyms for salivate


dribble, drivel, drool, slaver, slobber

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Examples of salivate in a Sentence

The smell alone was enough to make me salivate. She was salivating at the prospect of traveling to Europe.

Recent Examples on the Web

Go back 40 years and find for me when the White House press corps salivated over a Republican president. Fox News, "Sean Spicer: CNN's Jim Acosta owes Trump an apology," 2 Aug. 2018 Trump is the presidential version of 4chan denizens adopting Bane and the Joker as patron saints: some men want to watch the world burn, others salivate at the prospect of beating up protestors. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Trump is embracing amoral villainy (and making HBO mad) with a Game of Thrones tweet," 2 Nov. 2018 The big-league-caliber velocity that made the pro scouts salivate was gone. Alexa Philippou, The Seattle Times, "The most interesting man in baseball? It might be Mariners bullpen coach Brian DeLunas," 28 Aug. 2018 Though this summer is not expected to break 2013's high-water mark of $4.8 billion, the lineup of likely hits has cinema chains salivating after their stocks took a dive last year. Ryan Faughnder,, "Hollywood hopes for a rebound with a slew of summer blockbusters — including 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'," 22 May 2018 The Bryan-Samoa Joe matchup that had fans, myself included, salivating all week was turned into a three-way with Big Cass. Justin Barrasso,, "Week in Wrestling: John Cena on What Made WrestleMania 34 Special, His New Animated Series," 30 May 2018 The English public no longer salivates with optimism, having been burned so many times before. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "World Cup: Ranking all 32 teams, from hopeless to hopefuls," 22 May 2018 The period between the end of the World Cup and the start of the new European season is a dead zone, where fans salivate over speculation, let alone an inked, blockbuster move like this one. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup punk move backfired on him," 11 July 2018 Knox has provided scouts with enough of a preview in each facet of the game to where teams should be salivating over the chance to invest in him in the late lottery. The Crossover Staff,, "NBA Draft Debate: Which Wing Would You Draft First?," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'salivate.' 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 salivate

circa 1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for salivate

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for salivate

The first known use of salivate was circa 1706

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More Definitions for salivate



English Language Learners Definition of salivate

: to have a lot of saliva produced in your mouth because you see or smell food that you want to eat

: to have great interest in or desire for something


sal·​i·​vate | \ ˈsa-lə-ˌvāt\
salivated; salivating

Kids Definition of salivate

: to produce or secrete saliva especially in large amounts


sal·​i·​vate | \ ˈsal-ə-ˌvāt \
salivated; salivating

Medical Definition of salivate

transitive verb

: to produce an abnormal flow of saliva in (as by the use of mercury)

intransitive verb

: to have a flow of saliva especially in excess

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More from Merriam-Webster on salivate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with salivate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for salivate

Spanish Central: Translation of salivate

Nglish: Translation of salivate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of salivate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on salivate

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