- The definition of a tooth is the hard, small, white parts covered in enamel and set in the jaw or something that resembles them in structure or function.
- An example of a tooth is the tool in the mouth used to bite and chew.
- An example of a tooth is one of the long, fine ends of a comb.
tooth definition by Webster's New World
- any of a set of hard, bonelike structures set in the jaws of most vertebrates and used for biting, tearing, and chewing: a tooth consists typically of a sensitive, vascular pulp surrounded by dentin and coated on the crown with enamel and on the root with cementum: normally 32 are in the permanent set and 20 in the deciduous set of a human
- any of various analogous processes in invertebrates
- denture (sense )
- something resembling a tooth; toothlike part, as on a saw, fork, rake, gearwheel, etc.; tine, prong, cog, etc.
- appetite or taste for something specified: now only in sweet tooth
- something that bites, pierces, or gnaws like a tooth: the teeth of the storm
- a rough surface, as on paper, metal, etc.
- a sound or effective means of enforcing something: to put teeth into a law
- Bot. any small, pointed lobe, as of a leaf or of the fringe surrounding the opening of a capsule in mosses
Origin: Middle English ; from Old English toth (; from an unverified form tanth), akin to German zahn ; from Indo-European an unverified form edont- (; from base an unverified form ed-, to eat) from source Classical Latin dens (gen. dentis), Classical Greek odous (gen. odontos)
- to provide with teeth
- to make jagged; indent
- toothless adjective
tooth definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. teeth teeth
- a. One of a set of hard, bonelike structures rooted in sockets in the jaws of vertebrates, typically composed of a core of soft pulp surrounded by a layer of hard dentin that is coated with cementum or enamel at the crown and used for biting or chewing food or as a means of attack or defense.b. A similar structure in invertebrates, such as one of the pointed denticles or ridges on the exoskeleton of an arthropod or the shell of a mollusk.
- A projecting part resembling a tooth in shape or function, as on a comb, gear, or saw.
- A small, notched projection along a margin, especially of a leaf. Also called dent2.
- A rough surface, as of paper or metal.
- a. Something that injures or destroys with force. Often used in the plural: the teeth of the blizzard.b. teeth Effective means of enforcement; muscle: “This . . . puts real teeth into something where there has been only lip service” (Ellen Convisser).
- Taste or appetite: She always had a sweet tooth.
- To furnish (a tool, for example) with teeth.
- To make a jagged edge on.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English tōth; see dent- in Indo-European roots.Word History: Eating, biting, teeth, and dentists are related not only logically but etymologically; that is, the roots of the words eat, tooth, and dentist have a common origin. The Proto-Indo-European root *ed-, meaning “to eat” and the source of our word eat, originally meant “to bite.” A participial form of *ed- in this sense was *dent-, “biting,” which came to mean “tooth.” Our word tooth comes from *dont-, a form of *dent-, with sound changes that resulted in the Germanic word *tanthuz. This word became Old English tōth and Modern English tooth. Meanwhile the Proto-Indo-European form *dent- itself became in Latin dēns (stem dent-), “tooth,” from which is derived our word dentist. We find a descendant of another Proto-Indo-European form *(o)dont- in the word orthodontist.
tooth - Cultural Definition
A hard structure, embedded in the jaws of the mouth, that functions in chewing. The tooth consists of a crown, covered with hard white enamel; a root, which anchors the tooth to the jawbone; and a “neck” between the crown and the root, covered by the gum. Most of the tooth is made up of dentin, which is located directly below the enamel. The soft interior of the tooth, the pulp, contains nerves and blood vessels. Humans have molars for grinding food, incisors for cutting, and canines and bicuspids for tearing.
tooth - Medical Definition
noun pl. teeth
Top: adult permanent teeth
Bottom: cross section of an incisor
tooth - Phrases/Idioms
long in the tooth
tooth and nail
to the teeth
tooth - Science Definition
Plural teeth teeth
- Any of the hard bony structures in the mouth used to grasp and chew food and as weapons of attack and defense. In mammals and many other vertebrates, the teeth are set in sockets in the jaw. In fish and amphibians, they grow in and around the palate. See also dentition.
- A similar structure in certain invertebrate animals.
cross section of an incisor