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toothless

[tooth-lis]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. lacking teeth.
  2. without a serrated edge, as a saw.
  3. lacking in force or sharpness; dull; ineffectual: a toothless argument.

Origin of toothless

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at tooth, -less
Related formstooth·less·ly, adverbtooth·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for toothless

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It swung to behind his back with no more noise than the snap of a toothless jaw.

    Chance

    Joseph Conrad

  • Then smiling a wide, toothless smile, she laid her finger on her lips.

  • For all the old fellow was toothless, Jimmy saw that his claws were long and sharp.

    The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit

    Arthur Scott Bailey

  • Violence amongst these toothless, tottering, trembling, feeble ones?

    Roundabout Papers

    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • Across the face, like a gash, the toothless, grinning mouth.

    The Frontier

    Maurice LeBlanc


Word Origin and History for toothless

adj.

late 14c., in literal sense, from tooth + -less. Figurative sense of "dull" is recorded from 1590s; that of "lacking enforcement powers" is first recorded 1961. Related: Toothlessly; toothlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper