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verb (used with object) British Dialect.
  1. to seize; grab.

Origin of fang2

before 900; Middle English fangen to seize, catch; cognate with Old Saxon fangan, German fangen, variant of proto-Germanic *fanhan-, whence Old English fōn, cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic fāhan, Old Norse fā; akin to Old English gefangian to fasten
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for fanging


  1. the long pointed hollow or grooved tooth of a venomous snake through which venom is injected
  2. any large pointed tooth, esp the canine or carnassial tooth of a carnivorous mammal
  3. the root of a tooth
  4. (usually plural) British informal toothclean your fangs
Derived Formsfanged, adjectivefangless, adjectivefanglike, adjective

Word Origin

Old English fang what is caught, prey; related to Old Norse fang a grip, German Fang booty


verb (intr)
  1. to drive at great speed
  1. an act or instance of driving in such a waywe took the car for a fang

Word Origin

C20: from Juan Manuel Fangio


  1. plural Fangs or Fang a member of a Negroid people of W Africa, living chiefly in the rain forests of Gabon and Rio Muni: noted for their use of iron and copper money and for their sculpture
  2. the language of this people, belonging to the Bantu group of the Niger-Congo family
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

Word Origin and History for fanging



Old English fang "prey, spoils, plunder, booty; a seizing or taking," from gefangen, past participle of fon "seize, take, capture," from Proto-Germanic *fango- (cf. Old Frisian fangia, Middle Dutch and Dutch vangen, Old Norse fanga, German fangen, Gothic fahan), from PIE root *pag- "to make firm, fix;" connected to Latin pax (genitive pacis) "peace" (see pact).

The sense of "canine tooth" (1550s) probably developed from Old English fengtoð, literally "catching- or grasping-tooth." Transferred to the venom tooth of a serpent, etc., by 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fanging in Science


  1. A long, pointed tooth in vertebrate animals or a similar structure in spiders, used to seize prey and sometimes to inject venom. The fangs of a poisonous snake, for example, have a hollow groove through which venom flows.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.