Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

saliva

[suh-lahy-vuh]
noun
  1. 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.
Show More

Origin of saliva

First recorded in 1670–80, saliva is from the Latin word salīva
Related formssal·i·var·y [sal-uh-ver-ee] /ˈsæl əˌvɛr i/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for salivary

Historical Examples

  • The salivary glands have never been observed to be affected in it.

    North American Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, July, 1826

    Various

  • 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

    Harold Russell

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for salivary

saliva

noun
  1. 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
Show More
Derived Formssalivary (səˈlaɪvərɪ, ˈsælɪvərɪ), adjective

Word Origin

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

adj.

1709, from Latin salivarius, from saliva (see saliva).

Show More

saliva

n.

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.)).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

salivary in Medicine

salivary

(sălə-vĕr′ē)
adj.
  1. Of, relating to, or producing saliva.
  2. Of or relating to a salivary gland.
Show More

saliva

(sə-līvə)
n.
  1. The watery mixture of secretions from the salivary and oral mucous glands that lubricates chewed food, moistens the oral walls, and contains ptyalin.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

salivary in Science

saliva

[sə-līvə]
  1. 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.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

salivary in Culture

saliva

[(suh-leye-vuh)]

The fluid produced by the secretions of the salivary glands. Saliva contains enzymes that begin the digestion of starches. It also moistens the mouth tissues and makes food easier to chew and swallow.

Show More
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.