Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[kuhsp] /kʌsp/
a point or pointed end.
Anatomy, Zoology, Botany. a point, projection, or elevation, as on the crown of a tooth.
Also called spinode. Geometry. a point where two branches of a curve meet, end, and are tangent.
Architecture. a decorative device, used especially in Gothic architecture to vary the outlines of intradoses or to form architectural foils, consisting of a pair of curves tangent to the real or imaginary line defining the area decorated and meeting at a point within the area.
Astronomy. a point of a crescent, especially of the moon.
  1. the zodiacal degree that marks the beginning of a house or a sign.
  2. Informal. a person born on the first day of a sign.
a point that marks the beginning of a change:
on the cusp of a new era.
Origin of cusp
First recorded in 1575-85, cusp is from the Latin word cuspis a point
Related forms
cuspal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cusps
Historical Examples
  • Tricuspidate: ending in three points: with three cusps or teeth.

  • Quatrefoils are made by arranging four cusps within a circle.

    Cheshire Charles E. Kelsey
  • In the sub-arches the key-stones and cusps are formed of stone.

  • Fulgur has a median tooth with three cusps; Buccinum one with six.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
  • It is engrailed, presenting ten cusps, and may be placed in the class of decade-rings.

    Finger-Ring Lore William Jones
  • At 12.43, the cusps, for a few moments, bore a very black aspect.

    The Boy's Playbook of Science John Henry Pepper
  • Some of its cusps are broken, but there seem to have been six of them originally.

  • These cusps have obviously been added to the side of the teeth and are now growing.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • In Fig. 79, where every tooth is present, a most remarkable display of cusps occurs.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • The cusps upon the cutting and grinding edges are not obliterated.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
British Dictionary definitions for cusps


any of the small elevations on the grinding or chewing surface of a tooth
any of the triangular flaps of a heart valve
a point or pointed end
(geometry) Also called spinode. a point at which two arcs of a curve intersect and at which the two tangents are coincident
(architect) a carving at the meeting place of two arcs
(astronomy) either of the points of a crescent moon or of a satellite or inferior planet in a similar phase
(astrology) any division between houses or signs of the zodiac
Word Origin
C16: from Latin cuspis point, pointed end
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cusps



1580s, from Latin cuspis "point, spear, pointed end, head," of unknown origin. Astrological use is earliest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
cusps in Medicine

cusp (kŭsp)

  1. A pointed or rounded projection on the chewing surface of a tooth.

  2. A triangular fold or flap of a heart valve.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cusp

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cusps

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for cusps