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See more synonyms for edentate on Thesaurus.com
  1. belonging or pertaining to the Edentata, an order of New World mammals characterized by the absence of incisors and canines in the arrangement of teeth and comprising the armadillos, the sloths, and the South American anteaters.
  2. toothless.
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  1. an edentate mammal.
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Origin of edentate

1820–30; < Latin ēdentātus deprived of teeth, equivalent to ē- e-1 + dent- (stem of dēns) tooth + -ātus -ate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for edentate

sloth, aardvark, armadillo, anteater

Examples from the Web for edentate

Historical Examples of edentate

  • I observe that Rudolphi distinctly refers to this edentate as the tamandua.


    T. Spencer Cobbold

  • The palatines are edentate, but bear strong ridges throughout their lengths.

  • No hylid genus is edentate, and none has either T-shaped terminal phalanges or the unusual dorsal spinules.

  • Armadillo, rm-a-dil′o, n. a small American edentate quadruped, having its body armed with bands of bony plates:—pl.

  • Edentate animals, such as the sloth, are without teeth, or at least are without the incisors.


    Elmer W. Cavins

British Dictionary definitions for edentate


  1. any of the placental mammals that constitute the order Edentata, which inhabit tropical regions of Central and South America. The order includes anteaters, sloths, and armadillos
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  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the order Edentata
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Word Origin for edentate

C19: from Latin ēdentātus lacking teeth, from ēdentāre to render toothless, from e- out + dēns 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

edentate in Medicine


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

edentate in Science


  1. Lacking teeth.
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  1. Any of various mammals belonging to the order Xenarthra (or Edentata), having no front teeth and few or no back teeth. The lumbar vertebrae have extra joints, which add support during digging. Sloths, armadillos, and anteaters are edentates.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.