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.
- sal·i·var·y [sal-uh-ver-ee], /ˈsæl əˌvɛr i/, adjective
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How to use saliva in a sentence
Over time, these patients develop visibly enlarged salivary glands; they can also become malnourished.
These migrate to the salivary glands, and are carried into the blood of the person whom the mosquito bites.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
In very small amounts alcohol stimulates the secretion of the salivary and gastric glands, and thus appears to aid in digestion.A Civic Biology | George William Hunter
This organ may perhaps be best compared with the simple salivary gland of Julus.The Works of Francis Maitland Balfour, Volume 1 | Francis Maitland Balfour
Less well developed than the salivary organs, they are often of a very complicated structure.The Insect World | Louis Figuier
Resting a moment, she proceeded to apply the salivary glue and adjust the twig, and then settled again to the task of sitting.Bird Lore, Volume I--1899 | Various
British Dictionary definitions for saliva
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 digestion: Related adjective: sialoid
- salivary (səˈlaɪvərɪ, ˈsælɪvərɪ), adjective
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
Scientific definitions for saliva
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for saliva
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.