WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS noun, plural eye·teeth . [ ahy-teeth] /ˈaɪˌtiθ/ . Dentistry a canine tooth of the upper jaw: so named from its position under the eye. Idioms cut one's eyeteeth, to gain sophistication or experience; become worldly-wise. Also cut one's eyeteeth on. to be initiated or gain one's first experience in (a career, hobby, skill, etc.). give one's eyeteeth, to give something one considers very precious, usually in exchange for an object or situation one desires: She would give her eyeteeth for that job. Origin of eyetooth
First recorded in
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for give one's eyeteeth noun plural -teeth either of the two canine teeth in the upper jaw give one's eyeteeth for to go to any lengths to achieve or obtain (something) I'd give my eyeteeth for a radio as good as that
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 give one's eyeteeth n.
eye tooth, 1570s, so called for its position immediately under or next to the eye.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
give one's eyeteeth in Medicine n. A canine tooth of the upper jaw.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Idioms and Phrases with give one's eyeteeth
give one's right arm. Go to any lengths to obtain, as in She'd give her eyeteeth for a mink coat, or He'd give his right arm for a new car. These hyperbolic expressions both allude to something precious, the eyeteeth (or canines) being useful for both biting and chewing and the right arm a virtual necessity for the 90 percent of the population who are right-handed. Both date from the first half of the 1900s, when the first replaced give one's eyes, from the mid-1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.