Definitions for: Saliva


[n] a clear liquid secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands and mucous glands of the mouth; moistens the mouth and starts the digestion of starches



Webster (1913) Definition: Sa*li"va, n. [L.; cf. Gr. ?.] (Physiol.)
The secretion from the salivary glands.

Note: In man the saliva is a more or less turbid and slighty
viscid fluid, generally of an alkaline reaction, and is
secreted by the parotid, submaxillary, and sublingual
glands. In the mouth the saliva is mixed with the
secretion from the buccal glands. The secretions from
the individual salivary glands have their own special
characteristics, and these are not the same in all
animals. In man and many animals mixed saliva, i.e.,
saliva composed of the secretions of all three of the
salivary glands, is an important digestive fluid on
account of the presence of the peculiar enzyme,
ptyalin.

Synonyms: spit, spittle

See Also: dribble, drivel, drool, ptyalin, salivary gland, secretion, slobber, tobacco juice

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