of or relating to the teeth.
of or relating to dentistry or a dentist.
  1. (of a speech sound) articulated with the tongue tip touching the back of the upper front teeth or immediately above them, as French t.
  2. alveolar, as English t.
  3. interdental(def 2).


Phonetics. a dental sound.

Origin of dental

1585–95; < Medieval Latin dentālis, equivalent to Latin dent- (stem of dēns) tooth + -ālis -al1
Related formsden·tal·i·ty, nounden·tal·ly, adverbpost·den·tal, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dental

Contemporary Examples of dental

Historical Examples of dental

  • This examination calls for expert medical and dental service.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • Diverting those eyes, he displayed a smile that was chill and dental.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • We have pictures of two score of dental instruments that were used by them.

  • Here the palatal takes the place of the dental, as in Brangwin for Anglo-Sax.

    The Romance of Names

    Ernest Weekley

  • He was a graduate of the University of Minnesota—dental department.

    The Trail of the Hawk

    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for dental



of or relating to the teeth
of or relating to dentistry
  1. pronounced or articulated with the tip of the tongue touching the backs of the upper teeth, as for t in French tout
  2. (esp in the phonology of some languages, such as English) another word for alveolar


phonetics a dental consonant

Word Origin for dental

C16: from Medieval Latin dentālis, from Latin dens tooth
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 dental

1590s, from Middle French dental "of teeth" or Medieval Latin dentalis, from Latin dens (genitive dentis) "tooth," from PIE root *dent- (see tooth).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dental in Medicine




Of, relating to, or for the teeth.
Of, relating to, or intended for dentistry.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dental in Science



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