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

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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

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 prospect of what could rate as ASU's greatest collection of wide receiver talent already has fans salivating. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Derek Hagan, Prentice Gill want ASU to become Wide Receiver U," 25 Dec. 2019 Calm before big rivalry week storm in college football There are plenty of big matchups on the Week 13 docket this weekend that might have college football fans salivating. Editors, USA TODAY, "American Music Awards, Hong Kong elections: 5 things to know this weekend," 23 Nov. 2019 The television industry has salivated over a chance to secure the SEC package that has long been considered the biggest steal in the sports TV rights world. John Talty |, al, "Inside the SEC on CBS contract discussions and what could come next," 21 Nov. 2019 Ironically, the Democrats most viable candidate is another New Yorker who has a campaign war chest that Trump can only salivate over. Doug Friednash, The Denver Post, "Friednash: Bloomberg, the richer, other New Yorker, could beat Trump," 20 Dec. 2019 Ryan Tannehill has been great, especially on play-action passes, which after Drew Lock's success against Houston last week has people salivating about what might happen Sunday. Stephanie Stradley, Houston Chronicle, "Stephanie Stradley’s Texans-Titans Q&A with Tom Gower," 13 Dec. 2019 When their careers culminated in the 2009 Class 6A state championship game and Lowe racked up six TDs in a losing effort, recruiters salivated. Greg Bishop,, "‘Active Shooter!’ How Life Put Keanon Lowe Where He Was Supposed to Be," 29 Aug. 2019 Indeed, the shares rose about 5% on Monday as investors salivated over a sizable buy-back or special dividend. Washington Post, "Tesco Should Take the Money and Run," 9 Dec. 2019 Vernon and Garrett should be salivating come Sunday. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Browns’ Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon must exploit Broncos’ weak offensive line and inexperienced QB," 2 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for salivate

Time Traveler

The first known use of salivate was circa 1706

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Statistics for salivate

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Salivate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for salivate


How to pronounce salivate (audio)

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

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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).


to assert without proof or before proving

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