Idioms

Origin of skin

1150–1200; Middle English (noun) < Old Norse skinn; cognate with dialectal German Schinde skin of fruit

SYNONYMS FOR skin

2 fur. Skin, hide, pelt are names for the outer covering of animals, including humans. Skin is the general word: an abrasion of the skin; the skin of a muskrat. Hide applies to the skin of large animals, as cattle, horses, or elephants: a buffalo hide. Pelt applies to the untanned skin of smaller animals: a mink pelt.
4 hull, shell, husk, crust.

Related forms

skin·like, adjectiveun·der·skin, nounun·skinned, adjective

Definition for by the skin of one's teeth (2 of 2)

tooth

[ tooth ]
/ tuθ /

noun, plural teeth.


verb (used with object), toothed [tootht, toothd] /tuθt, tuðd/, tooth·ing [too-thing, -thing] /ˈtu θɪŋ, -ðɪŋ/.

to furnish with teeth.
to cut teeth upon.

verb (used without object), toothed [tootht, toothd] /tuθt, tuðd/, tooth·ing [too-thing, -thing] /ˈtu θɪŋ, -ðɪŋ/.

to interlock, as cogwheels.

Origin of tooth

before 900; Middle English; Old English tōth; cognate with Dutch tand, German Zahn, Old Norse tǫnn; akin to Gothic tunthus, Latin dēns, Greek odoús (Ionic odṓn), Sanskrit dánta

Related forms

tooth·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for by the skin of one's teeth (1 of 2)

skin

/ (skɪn) /

noun


verb skins, skinning or skinned

adjective

relating to or for the skinskin cream
slang, mainly US involving or depicting nudityskin magazines
See also skin up

Derived Forms

skinless, adjectiveskinlike, adjective

Word Origin for skin

Old English scinn, from Old Norse skinn

British Dictionary definitions for by the skin of one's teeth (2 of 2)

tooth

/ (tuːθ) /

noun plural teeth (tiːθ)


verb (tuːð, tuːθ)

(tr) to provide with a tooth or teeth
(intr) (of two gearwheels) to engage

Derived Forms

toothless, adjectivetoothlike, adjective

Word Origin for tooth

Old English tōth; related to Old Saxon tand, Old High German zand, Old Norse tonn, Gothic tunthus, Latin dens
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

Medicine definitions for by the skin of one's teeth (1 of 2)

skin

[ skĭn ]

n.

The membranous tissue forming an external protective covering or integument of an animal and consisting of the epidermis and dermis.

v.

To bruise, cut, or injure the skin of.

Related forms

skinless adj.

Medicine definitions for by the skin of one's teeth (2 of 2)

tooth

[ tōōth ]

n. pl. teeth (tēth)

One of a set of hard, bonelike structures rooted in sockets in the jaws of vertebrates, typically composed of a core of soft pulp surrounded by a layer of hard dentin that is coated with cement or enamel at the crown and used chiefly for biting or chewing food or as a means of attack or defense.

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

Science definitions for by the skin of one's teeth (1 of 2)

skin

[ skĭn ]

The outer covering of a vertebrate animal, consisting of two layers of cells, a thick inner layer (the dermis) and a thin outer layer (the epidermis). Structures such as hair, scales, or feathers are contained in the skin, as are fat cells, sweat glands, and sensory receptors. Skin provides a protective barrier against disease-causing microorganisms and against the sun's ultraviolet rays. In warm-blooded animals, it aids in temperature regulation, as by insulating against the cold.

Science definitions for by the skin of one's teeth (2 of 2)

tooth

[ tōōth ]

Plural teeth (tēth)

Any of the hard bony structures in the mouth used to grasp and chew food and as weapons of attack and defense. In mammals and many other vertebrates, the teeth are set in sockets in the jaw. In fish and amphibians, they grow in and around the palate. See also dentition.
A similar structure in certain invertebrate animals.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for by the skin of one's teeth (1 of 2)

skin

The external tissue that covers the body. As the body's largest organ (it makes up about one twenty-fifth of an adult's weight), the skin serves as a waterproof covering that helps keep out pathogens and protects against temperature extremes and sunlight. The skin also contains special nerve endings that respond to touch, pressure, heat, and cold. The skin has an outer layer, or epidermis, and a layer immediately below, called the dermis.


Culture definitions for by the skin of one's teeth (2 of 2)

tooth

A hard structure, embedded in the jaws of the mouth, that functions in chewing. The tooth consists of a crown, covered with hard white enamel; a root, which anchors the tooth to the jawbone; and a “neck” between the crown and the root, covered by the gum. Most of the tooth is made up of dentin, which is located directly below the enamel. The soft interior of the tooth, the pulp, contains nerves and blood vessels. Humans have molars for grinding food, incisors for cutting, and canines and bicuspids for tearing.


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with by the skin of one's teeth (1 of 3)

by the skin of one's teeth

Just barely, very narrowly, as in Doug passed the exam by the skin of his teeth. A related term appears in the Bible (Job 19:20), where Job says, “I am escaped with the skin of my teeth,” presumably meaning he got away with nothing at all. Today the phrase using by is used most often to describe a narrow escape. [c. 1600] Also see squeak through.


Idioms and Phrases with by the skin of one's teeth (2 of 3)

skin

In addition to the idioms beginning with skin

  • skin alive
  • skin and bones
  • skin deep
  • skin off one's nose
  • skin of one's teeth

also see:

  • beauty is only skin deep
  • by the skin of one's teeth
  • get under someone's skin
  • jump out of one's skin
  • make one's flesh creep (skin crawl)
  • more than one way to skin a cat
  • no skin off one's nose
  • save one's bacon (skin)
  • soaked to the skin
  • thick skin

Idioms and Phrases with by the skin of one's teeth (3 of 3)

tooth

In addition to the idiom beginning with tooth

  • tooth fairy

also see:

  • fight tooth and nail
  • fine-tooth comb
  • long in the tooth
  • sweet tooth

Also see underteeth.


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.