[sach-uh-rey-shuh n]


the act or process of saturating.
the state of being saturated.
Meteorology. a condition in the atmosphere corresponding to 100 percent relative humidity.
the degree of chroma or purity of a color; the degree of freedom from admixture with white.
Magnetism. the state of maximum magnetization of a ferromagnetic material.

Origin of saturation

1545–55; < Late Latin saturātiōn- (stem of saturātiō) a filling, equivalent to saturāt(us) (see saturate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsde·sat·u·ra·tion, nounnon·sat·u·ra·tion, nouno·ver·sat·u·ra·tion, nounsub·sat·u·ra·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for saturation



the act of saturating or the state of being saturated
chem the state of a chemical compound, solution, or vapour when it is saturated
meteorol the state of the atmosphere when it can hold no more water vapour at its particular temperature and pressure, the relative humidity then being 100 per cent
the attribute of a colour that enables an observer to judge its proportion of pure chromatic colourSee also colour
physics the state of a ferromagnetic material in which it is fully magnetized. The magnetic domains are then all fully aligned
electronics the state of a valve or semiconductor device that is carrying the maximum current of which it is capable and is therefore unresponsive to further increases of input signal
the level beyond which demand for a product or service is not expected to increase


denoting the maximum possible intensity of coverage of an areasaturation bombing; a saturation release of a film
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 saturation

1550s, formed in English from saturate, or else from Late Latin saturationem (nominative saturatio), noun of action from past participle stem of saturare. Saturation bombing is from 1942, first in reference to Allied air raid on Cologne, Germany.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

saturation in Medicine




The act or process of saturating.
The condition of being saturated.
The condition of being full to or beyond satisfaction; satiety.
Filling of all the available sites on an enzyme molecule by its substrate, or on a hemoglobin molecule by molecular oxygen or carbon monoxide.
In optics, the degree which colors of the same wavelength are differentiated from one another on the basis of purity which correlates with the amount of white present, such as red from pink.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

saturation in Science



The state of a physical system, such as a solution, containing as much of another substance, such as a solute, as is possible at a given temperature or pressure.
The vividness of a color's hue. Saturation measures the degree to which a color differs from a gray of the same darkness or lightness. Compare hue value.
The state of being a saturated organic compound. See more at saturated.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.