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carnassial

[kahr-nas-ee-uh l]Zoology
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adjective
  1. (of teeth) adapted for shearing flesh.
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noun
  1. a carnassial tooth, especially the last upper premolar or the first lower molar tooth of certain carnivores.
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Origin of carnassial

1840–50; < French carnassi(er) flesh-eating (< Provençal, equivalent to carnasse augmentative derivative of carn flesh, meat (< Latin carn-, stem of carō) + -ier -ary) + -al1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for carnassial

ivory, snag, tush, tusk, molar, premolar, fang, cuspid, bicuspid, incisor, eyetooth, carnassial

Examples from the Web for carnassial

Historical Examples of carnassial

  • From the carnassial tooth you can infer the reduced clavicle, and so on.

    Form and Function

    E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

  • The carnassial tooth of the upper jaw has three lobes to the blade; that of the lower jaw is without an inner cusp.

  • The carnassial teeth are not typically developed, and the molars are broad and tuberculate.

  • The carnassial tooth is less emphasised in this group than in the Cats.

  • There is no carnassial tooth, and the teeth in other ways differ considerably from those of Carnivora vera.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds


British Dictionary definitions for carnassial

carnassial

adjective
  1. zoology of, relating to, or designating the last upper premolar and first lower molar teeth of carnivores, which have sharp edges for tearing flesh
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noun
  1. a carnassial tooth
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Word Origin for carnassial

C19: from French carnassier meat-eating, from Provençal, from carnasso abundance of meat, from carn meat, flesh, from Latin carō
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