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[sey-leen, -lahyn] /ˈseɪ lin, -laɪn/
of, containing, or resembling common table salt; salty or saltlike:
a saline solution.
of or relating to a chemical salt, especially of sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc., as used as a cathartic.
of or relating to a method of abortion involving injection of hypertonic saline solution into the amniotic cavity during the second trimester.
a sterile solution of sodium chloride used to dilute medications or for intravenous therapy.
salty water; a salty solution.
Origin of saline
1400-50; Middle English: composed of salt < Latin salīnus salty, equivalent to sal sal + -īnus -ine1
Related forms
[suh-lin-i-tee] /səˈlɪn ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
hypersaline, adjective
hypersalinity, noun
nonsaline, adjective
nonsalinity, noun
semisaline, adjective
subsaline, adjective
subsalinity, noun
unsaline, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for salinity
  • High salinity promotes both reproduction and rapid growth of oysters.
  • Their process is fuelled by concentration gradients of salinity between different vessels of brine.
  • One purpose of the openings is to maintain the proper salinity for the bivalves to grow and reproduce.
  • And despite dredging, salinity was becoming a problem.
  • When it goes out, the salinity is lowered and on a hot day the heat rises.
  • Creeping salinity in the water table is a harbinger of future danger.
  • salinity of sea in not increasing because farmers use water on land.
  • Other culprits: inflows of fresh water, high ultraviolet radiation, and changes in salinity.
  • The water's salinity level matches that of teardrops.
  • And the fresh water in the polar ice caps is likely to change both the salinity and the temperature of the oceans.
British Dictionary definitions for salinity


of, concerned with, consisting of, or containing common salt: a saline taste
(med) of or relating to a saline
of, concerned with, consisting of, or containing any chemical salt, esp a metallic salt resembling sodium chloride
(med) an isotonic solution of sodium chloride in distilled water
Derived Forms
salinity (səˈlɪnɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin salīnus, from Latin sal salt
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
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Word Origin and History for salinity

1650s; see saline + -ity.



"made of salt," c.1500, probably from a Latin word related to salinum "salt cellar" and salinae "salt pits," from sal (genitive salis) "salt" (see salt (n.)). Also in Middle English as a noun meaning "salt pit" (13c.). Saline solution attested from 1833.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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salinity in Medicine

saline sa·line (sā'lēn', -līn')

  1. Of, relating to, or containing salt; salty.

  2. Of or relating to chemical salts.

  1. A salt of magnesium or of the alkalis, used in medicine as a cathartic.

  2. A saline solution, especially one that is isotonic to blood.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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salinity in Science
Of or containing salt.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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