tooth[to̵̅o̅t̸h; for v., also to̵̅o̅t̸h]
- 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.
This little boy has lost a tooth.
- 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 of toothMiddle 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
long in the tooth
tooth and nail
nounpl. teeth teeth
- a. One of a set of hard, bonelike structures in the jaws of vertebrates, usually rooted in sockets and 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 hard projection in an invertebrate, such as one of a set of projections on the hinge of a bivalve or on the radula of a snail.
- 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. often teeth Something that injures or destroys with force: the teeth of the blizzard.b. teeth Effective means of enforcement; muscle: “This &ellipsis; puts real teeth into something where there has been only lip service” (Ellen Convisser).
verbtoothed, tooth·ing, tooths
- To furnish (a tool, for example) with teeth.
- To make a jagged edge on.
Origin of toothMiddle English, from Old English tōth; see dent- in Indo-European roots.
top: cross section of a human tooth
bottom: teeth on mechanical gears
- A hard, calcareous structure present in the mouth of many vertebrate animals, generally used for eating.
- A sharp projection on the blade of a saw or similar implement.
- A projection on the edge of a gear that meshes with similar projections on adjacent gears, or on the circumference of a cog that engages with a chain.
- (botany) A pointed projection from the margin of a leaf.
- (animation) The rough surface of some kinds of cel or other films that allow better adhesion of artwork.
- (figuratively) taste; palate
- I have a sweet tooth: I love sugary treats.
(third-person singular simple present tooths, present participle toothing, simple past and past participle toothed)
From Middle English tooth, from Old English tōþ (“tooth”), from Proto-Germanic *tanþs (“tooth”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃dónts (“tooth”). Cognate with Scots tuth, tuith (“tooth”), North Frisian toth, tos (“tooth”), Dutch tand (“tooth”), German Zahn (“tooth”), Danish and Swedish tand (“tooth”), Icelandic tönn (“tooth”), Welsh dant (“tooth”), Latin dēns (“tooth”), Lithuanian dantìs (“tooth”), Ancient Greek ὀδούς (odous, odṓn, “tooth”), Armenian ատամ (atam), Persian دندان (dandân), Sanskrit दत् (dát, “tooth”). Related to tusk.