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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from salivate

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

Synonyms for salivate


dribble, drivel, drool, slaver, slobber

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 Then breathing becomes laboured and people start salivating and then foaming at the mouth. Ciara Nugent, Time, "'There Will Be Severe Pain.' What to Know About the New Novichok Nerve Agent Poisoning in the U.K.," 5 July 2018 Meanwhile anti-Trump forces are salivating over the prospect that Michael Cohen could flip. Fox News, "Nunes tightens screws in his probe into surveillance abuses," 3 July 2018 For years, hip-hop purists have salivated for a Drake and Premier collaboration. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "DJ Premier on Making Drake's 'Sandra's Rose' & Their Unfinished Song 'Sail' With Rick Ross," 29 June 2018 Businesses, meanwhile, are salivating over prospective access to new markets—access that promises to reinforce political gains made between the two governments. Brian Finlay, Fortune, "Businesses Are Salivating Over an Open North Korea. Should They Be?," 20 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.

See More

First Known Use of salivate

circa 1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about salivate

Statistics for salivate

Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for salivate

The first known use of salivate was circa 1706

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on salivate

What made you want to look up salivate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!