sal·​i·​vate | \ ˈsa-lə-ˌvāt How to pronounce salivate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce salivation (audio) \ noun
salivator \ ˈsa-​lə-​ˌvā-​tər How to pronounce salivator (audio) \ 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

Young artists were salivating at the chance to perform at Outlihers’ #FriendsOnly party during Grammy Awards weekend in Los Angeles. Joi-marie Mckenzie, Essence, "Meet Paris Hines, The Woman Behind Ari Lennox And Other Artists You Love," 13 June 2019 With its Insta-friendly packaging and formulas with intense color payoff, the entire Uoma range will have makeup maximalists salivating. Allure, "Uoma Beauty Founder Sharon Chuter Explains Why Inclusivity Is So Much More Than Foundation Shades," 4 May 2019 Those who suffer from morning sickness tend to salivate excessively. Samantha Lefave, Redbook, "20 Gross Things Every Pregnant Woman Secretly Does," 22 May 2017 Scooter companies are salivating over the prospects, and sources tell The Verge that conversations between company representatives, lobbyists, and elected officials at the state and city level are already taking place. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "New York City is the perfect scooter market, but it’s also the most impossible," 11 Aug. 2018 In the meantime, go ahead and start salivating at the prospect of Warriors/Thunder, which on paper looks like the best first-round matchup in years. Ben Golliver,, "The All-Bullseye Team: Five All-Stars Facing Serious Playoff Pressure," 4 Apr. 2018 Much of it is myopic and small-brained, from sideline observers gleefully salivating at the opportunity to take him down a peg. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "In Defense of Elon Musk," 16 Oct. 2018 After all, what comic fan wouldn’t salivate at the chance to take on the roles of their favorite superheroes? Michael Thompson, Ars Technica, "Drawn together: The love affair between comics and games," 24 Dec. 2018 And by October, lobbyists were salivating at the possibility. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The lesson of the midterms: resistance works," 7 Nov. 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

23 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce salivate (audio) \
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

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

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


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!