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[sach-uh-rey-shuh n] /ˌsætʃ əˈreɪ ʃən/
the act or process of saturating.
the state of being saturated.
Meteorology. a condition in the atmosphere corresponding to 100 percent relative humidity.
the degree of chroma or purity of a color; the degree of freedom from admixture with white.
Magnetism. the state of maximum magnetization of a ferromagnetic material.
Origin of saturation
1545-55; < Late Latin saturātiōn- (stem of saturātiō) a filling, equivalent to saturāt(us) (see saturate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
desaturation, noun
nonsaturation, noun
oversaturation, noun
subsaturation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for oversaturation


the act of saturating or the state of being saturated
(chem) the state of a chemical compound, solution, or vapour when it is saturated
(meteorol) the state of the atmosphere when it can hold no more water vapour at its particular temperature and pressure, the relative humidity then being 100 per cent
the attribute of a colour that enables an observer to judge its proportion of pure chromatic colour See also colour
(physics) the state of a ferromagnetic material in which it is fully magnetized. The magnetic domains are then all fully aligned
(electronics) the state of a valve or semiconductor device that is carrying the maximum current of which it is capable and is therefore unresponsive to further increases of input signal
the level beyond which demand for a product or service is not expected to increase
denoting the maximum possible intensity of coverage of an area: saturation bombing, a saturation release of a film
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for oversaturation



1550s, formed in English from saturate, or else from Late Latin saturationem (nominative saturatio), noun of action from past participle stem of saturare. Saturation bombing is from 1942, first in reference to Allied air raid on Cologne, Germany.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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oversaturation in Medicine

saturation sat·u·ra·tion (sāch'ə-rā'shən)
Abbr. sat.

  1. The act or process of saturating.

  2. The condition of being saturated.

  3. The condition of being full to or beyond satisfaction; satiety.

  4. Filling of all the available sites on an enzyme molecule by its substrate, or on a hemoglobin molecule by molecular oxygen or carbon monoxide.

  5. In optics, the degree which colors of the same wavelength are differentiated from one another on the basis of purity which correlates with the amount of white present, such as red from pink.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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oversaturation in Science
  1. The state of a physical system, such as a solution, containing as much of another substance, such as a solute, as is possible at a given temperature or pressure.

  2. The vividness of a color's hue. Saturation measures the degree to which a color differs from a gray of the same darkness or lightness. Compare hue, value.

  3. The state of being a saturated organic compound. See more at saturated.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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