saturation

noun
sat·​u·​ra·​tion | \ ˌsa-chə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce saturation (audio) \

Definition of saturation

1a : the act of saturating : the state of being saturated
2 : conversion of an unsaturated to a saturated chemical compound (as by hydrogenation)
3 : a state of maximum impregnation: such as
a : complete infiltration : permeation
b : the presence in air of the most water possible under existent pressure and temperature
c : magnetization to the point beyond which a further increase in the intensity of the magnetizing force will produce no further magnetization
4a : chromatic purity : freedom from dilution with white
b(1) : degree of difference from the gray having the same lightness used of an object color
(2) : degree of difference from the achromatic light-source color of the same brightness used of a light-source color — compare hue sense 2c
5 : the supplying of a market with as much of a product as it will absorb
6 : an overwhelming concentration of military forces or firepower

Examples of saturation in a Sentence

Heavy rains resulted in the saturation of the soil. the saturation of advertising on television

Recent Examples on the Web

Recently, saturation patrols from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office and Milwaukee Police Department were dispatched to halt the problem. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As Milwaukee seeks solutions for reckless driving, some blame low police budget while others seek alternatives to police," 8 July 2019 This suggests hints at a new trend to watch: while streaming continues to increase in the U.S., that rate of growth is liable to slow as the user base edges towards its saturation point. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Five Takeaways From Nielsen Music's Mid-Year 2019 Report," 27 June 2019 Sagging revenue could be a sign of saturation in the gambling industry in the Northeast. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "In New England’s crowded gambling market, the Encore Boston Harbor casino will open Sunday," 22 June 2019 But the subscription model that Blue Apron was banking on to change dining habits is showing signs of saturation. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Blue Apron Links With Dieters in Comeback Effort," 26 Dec. 2018 Where the market is seeing higher levels of saturation, according to local craft beer experts, is in the middle and upper tiers of the industry – breweries that operate regionally or across state lines. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Anheuser-Busch prepares to crack Sacramento's booming craft beer market | The Sacramento Bee," 20 Feb. 2018 But only two of the state’s 10 existing casinos have hit the current limit of 1,200 positions, raising questions about whether the state has reached a saturation point. Jason Grotto, ProPublica, "Illinois Is Poised to Become the Gambling Capital of the Midwest," 10 June 2019 Facing saturation elsewhere, global auto makers have banked on China, the world’s largest car market. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "Global Auto Makers Dented as China Car Sales Fall for First Time in Decades," 14 Jan. 2019 Billboard also reported June 6 that the industry at large is happy to indulge Tidal, encouraged by its $19.99/month hi-fidelity tier that can become a growth opportunity once regular streaming subscriptions reach saturation. Dan Rys, Billboard, "Tidal Makes Huge App Store Jump In Downloads, Revenue After The Carters' 'Everything Is Love' Release," 20 June 2018

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

circa 1554, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about saturation

Statistics for saturation

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for saturation

The first known use of saturation was circa 1554

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for saturation

saturation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of saturation

: the act or result of making something very wet
: the act or result of supplying so much of something that no more is wanted
: the act of using military force over a whole area

saturation

noun
sat·​u·​ra·​tion | \ ˌsach-ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce saturation (audio) \

Medical Definition of saturation

1 : the act of saturating : the state of being saturated
2 : conversion of an unsaturated to a saturated chemical compound (as by hydrogenation)
3 : a state of maximum impregnation especially : the presence in air of the most water possible under existent pressure and temperature
4a : the one of the three psychological dimensions of color perception that is related to the purity of the color and that decreases as the amount of white present in the stimulus increases

called also intensity

— compare brightness, hue
b(1) : degree of difference from the gray having the same lightness used of an object color
(2) : degree of difference from the achromatic light-source color of the same brightness used of a light-source color

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on saturation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with saturation

Spanish Central: Translation of saturation

Nglish: Translation of saturation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of saturation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about saturation

Comments on saturation

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

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'?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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