Definition of saliva in English:



  • Watery liquid secreted into the mouth by glands, providing lubrication for chewing and swallowing, and aiding digestion.

    • ‘My throat was dry and my mouth was filled with a thick, sticky saliva.’
    • ‘The flu virus is usually spread in the small droplets of saliva coughed or sneezed into the atmosphere by an infected person.’
    • ‘She turned around only to see a whole pack of wolves standing there, saliva dripping from their open mouths.’
    • ‘I let out a dry wheeze and reach to wipe the spit and saliva away from my mouth.’
    • ‘Rabies is mainly transmitted in saliva during a bite from an infected animal.’
    • ‘Avoiding refined sugars between meals gives your teeth a chance to be remineralised by saliva.’
    • ‘Occasionally people are infected through bodily fluids such as saliva, but this is rare.’
    • ‘They were provided with a plastic container and asked to provide 2 ml of saliva by expectoration.’
    • ‘His lower lip was slack and a dribble of saliva appeared at the corner of his mouth.’
    • ‘I rolled a pebble round and round inside my mouth, gathering a small pool of saliva, until that too dried up.’
    • ‘For the first few days you may produce more saliva than usual, and need to swallow more often.’
    • ‘When the food doesn't go down, the mouth produces more saliva to try and lubricate everything into submission.’
    • ‘Once the sugary foods have gone from the mouth salts from your saliva act to repair the damaged enamel.’
    • ‘The total daily flow of saliva from all the salivary glands is around 600 ml.’
    • ‘I struggled to take long deep breaths and bit hard on the sides of my tongue to bring saliva into my mouth.’
    spit, spittle, dribble, drool, slaver, slobber, sputum
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin.