[sey-leen, -lahyn]
  1. of, containing, or resembling common table salt; salty or saltlike: a saline solution.
  2. of or relating to a chemical salt, especially of sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc., as used as a cathartic.
  3. of or relating to a method of abortion involving injection of hypertonic saline solution into the amniotic cavity during the second trimester.
  1. a sterile solution of sodium chloride used to dilute medications or for intravenous therapy.
  2. salty water; a salty solution.

Origin of saline

1400–50; Middle English: composed of salt < Latin salīnus salty, equivalent to sal sal + -īnus -ine1
Related formssa·lin·i·ty [suh-lin-i-tee] /səˈlɪn ɪ ti/, nounhy·per·sa·line, adjectivehy·per·sa·lin·i·ty, nounnon·sa·line, adjectivenon·sa·lin·i·ty, nounsem·i·sa·line, adjectivesub·sa·line, adjectivesub·sa·lin·i·ty, nounun·sa·line, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for salinity

Historical Examples of salinity

British Dictionary definitions for salinity


  1. of, concerned with, consisting of, or containing common salta saline taste
  2. med of or relating to a saline
  3. of, concerned with, consisting of, or containing any chemical salt, esp a metallic salt resembling sodium chloride
  1. med an isotonic solution of sodium chloride in distilled water
Derived Formssalinity (səˈlɪnɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for saline

C15: from Late Latin salīnus, from Latin sal salt
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 salinity

1650s; see saline + -ity.



"made of salt," c.1500, probably from a Latin word related to salinum "salt cellar" and salinae "salt pits," from sal (genitive salis) "salt" (see salt (n.)). Also in Middle English as a noun meaning "salt pit" (13c.). Saline solution attested from 1833.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

salinity in Medicine


[sālēn′, -līn′]
  1. Of, relating to, or containing salt; salty.
  2. Of or relating to chemical salts.
  1. A salt of magnesium or of the alkalis, used in medicine as a cathartic.
  2. A saline solution, especially one that is isotonic to blood.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

salinity in Science


  1. Of or containing salt.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.