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a combining form meaning “tooth,” used in the formation of compound words: dentiform.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.
Also especially before a vowel, dent-.
Compare odonto-.

Origin of denti-

<Latin, combining form of dēns, stem dent-;see tooth
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does denti- mean?

Denti- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “tooth.” It is used in some medical and scientific terms, including in dentistry.

Denti- comes from the Latin dēns, meaning “tooth.” Greek words for “tooth” are odṓn, source of the combining forms odonto- and -odont, and odoús, source of the combining form odus.

What are variants of denti-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, denti- becomes dent-, as in dentin.

A less common variant of denti- is dento-, as in dentoalveolar.

Examples of denti-

One example of a term from anatomy that features the combining form denti- is dentigerous, meaning “having teeth.”

The denti- portion of the word means “tooth,” as we now know. The -gerous portion of the word means “bearing.” So, dentigerous literally translates to “tooth-bearing.”

What are some words that use the combining form denti-?

What are some other forms that denti- may be commonly confused with?

The word dent, as in “a hollow or depression in a surface,” does not share a root with the combining form denti-. Learn where dent comes from at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The combining form -form means “having the form of”—that is, “shaped” in some way. With that in mind, what does dentiform mean?

How to use denti- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for denti-


before a vowel dent-

combining form
indicating a toothdentiform; dentine

Word Origin for denti-

from Latin dēns, dent-
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

Medical definitions for denti-


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