- 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
First recorded in 1670–80, saliva is from the Latin word salīva
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for salivary
The salivary glands have never been observed to be affected in it.
The salivary glands seem to have a close relation to hydrophobia.
But no plague bacillus has been found in the body-cavity or in the salivary glands.The Flea
Why does the salivary juice enter the mouth just at the moment that we are eating?
It is a fluid much like the salivary secretion of the glands of the mouth.
- 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
C17: from Latin, of obscure origin
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 salivary
1709, from Latin salivarius, from saliva (see 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.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Of, relating to, or producing saliva.
- Of or relating to a salivary gland.
- The watery mixture of secretions from the salivary and oral mucous glands that lubricates chewed food, moistens the oral walls, and contains ptyalin.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- 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.
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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.