- a viscid, watery fluid, secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands, that functions in the tasting, chewing, and swallowing of food, moistens the mouth, and starts the digestion of starches.
Origin of saliva
Examples from the Web for saliva
Despite the protests of AIDS activists that saliva alone could not transmit the illness, kissing became an industry controversy.Hollywood’s Evolving Heart: How Movies Grew to Love Gays
May 28, 2014
We spit our saliva into our spit kits after forgoing food for an hour before.23andMe and Me: Why Policymakers Should Set the Genetic Testing Company Free
Charles C. Johnson
February 4, 2014
As they rip into the slabs, saliva, sand, and sweat begin seasoning the meat.Reality TV’s Grossest Moments: Dead Cats, Donkey Semen & More (VIDEO)
December 5, 2012
Crime-scene investigators gathered a saliva sample from the bite mark and sealed it in a plastic tube.L.A. Policewoman on Trial for Murdering Her Ex’s Wife
March 8, 2012
The belly is hard and painful, and in the morning there is a copious flow of saliva, and an uncommon craving for dry food.
This he moistened with saliva and quickly dropped into the center of his fuel stack.The Martian Cabal
Roman Frederick Starzl
"Quietly," I conceded, trying to get some saliva to flow again.Card Trick
Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett
Saliva should only be stimulated previous to stomach digestion.The Eugenic Marriage, Vol 2 (of 4)
W. Grant Hague
Then, too, there is a substance in the saliva which is used in the process of digestion.The Silent Bullet
Arthur B. Reeve
- the secretion of salivary glands, consisting of a clear usually slightly acid aqueous fluid of variable composition. It moistens the oral cavity, prepares food for swallowing, and initiates the process of digestionRelated adjective: sialoid
Word Origin and History for saliva
early 15c., from Middle French salive, from Latin saliva "spittle," of unknown origin (perhaps, as Tucker suggests, somehow derived from the base of sallow (adj.)).
- The watery mixture of secretions from the salivary and oral mucous glands that lubricates chewed food, moistens the oral walls, and contains ptyalin.
- The watery fluid that is secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands. In many animals, including humans, it contains the enzyme amylase, which breaks down carbohydrates. Saliva also contains mucus, which lubricates food for swallowing, and various proteins and mineral salts. Some special chemicals occur in the saliva of other animals, such as anticoagulants in the saliva of mosquitoes.