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[tooth-pik] /ˈtuθˌpɪk/
a small pointed piece of wood, plastic, etc., for removing substances, especially food particles, from between the teeth.
Origin of toothpick
First recorded in 1480-90; tooth + pick2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for toothpick
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her knitting was before her, but she had laid it down to pick her teeth with a toothpick.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • He became thoughtful again, and the toothpick was in requisition.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Then roll quickly, hold together with a toothpick and toast the outside.

    Desserts and Salads Gesine Lemcke
  • She burst into a laugh and took out her toothpick to point it at me.

  • Miss Francis, her toothpick suspended, stood in rapt contemplation.

  • Not a tree was to be seen, nor even a shrub big enough to make a toothpick.

    Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for toothpick


a small sharp sliver of wood, plastic, etc, used for extracting pieces of food from between the teeth
a slang word for bowie knife
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
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Word Origin and History for toothpick

late 15c., from tooth + pick (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for toothpick



A knife, esp a switchblade: Any of her roomers handy with a toothpick? (1844+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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