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 mere mention of them makes my pulse race, starts me salivating, makes my mouth water and drool. David Tanis, New York Times, "How to Make the Most of Potatoes," 8 May 2020 When Jordan Tucker decided to transfer to Butler, Bulldog fans salivated over his arrival. Drew Favakeh, Indianapolis Star, "Butler's Jordan Tucker is good -- but he can be better," 3 Mar. 2020 In fact, Dark Hallway was instantly salivating at the sight of the Stripers’ two slinky symbols, gyrating in skin-tight, striped suits. al, "Masked Observer triples down with LaShe’s, Fellows, Stripers," 26 Feb. 2020 Rams star Aaron Donald and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips may already be salivating. Dan Wiederer,, "Column: It’s more relief than joy as the Bears do just enough to squeeze past the struggling Lions," 10 Nov. 2019 The developers would’ve been salivating to get their hands on it. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Troubled Waters," 27 Feb. 2020 In practices, the Ducks’ front seven is competing against a player that already has NFL scouts salivating. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks making us change the way we watch them," 12 Oct. 2019 The kind coaches dream about, scouts adore and fans salivate over. Jimmy Greenfield,, "The Blackhawks’ prospects are looking up with Adam Boqvist and Kirby Dach as part of their future," 16 July 2019 Coleman is something of a sleeper prospect in this draft, far from one of the names the draft analysts are going to salivate over when the pass rushers take the field next Saturday night. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Robert Mathis on Cathedral's Kendall Coleman: 'This kid is going to be the steal of the draft'," 22 Feb. 2020

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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Salivate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 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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