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verb (used without object), sal·i·vat·ed, sal·i·vat·ing.
  1. to produce saliva.
verb (used with object), sal·i·vat·ed, sal·i·vat·ing.
  1. to produce an excessive secretion of saliva in, as by mercurial poisoning.

Origin of salivate

1650–60; < Latin salīvātus (past participle of salīvāre to cause to salivate); see saliva, -ate1
Related formsun·sal·i·vat·ed, adjectiveun·sal·i·vat·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for salivating


  1. (intr) to secrete saliva, esp an excessive amount
  2. (tr) to cause (a laboratory animal, etc) to produce saliva, as by the administration of mercury
Derived Formssalivation, noun
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

Word Origin and History for salivating



1650s, "cause to produce saliva;" intransitive sense from 1680s, from Latin salivatus, past participle of salivare, from saliva (see saliva). Figurative use in reference to anticipation by 1965. Related: Salivated; salivating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

salivating in Medicine


  1. To secrete or produce saliva.
  2. To produce excessive salivation in.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.