noun, plural teeth.
- any of the uniform projections on a gear or rack by which it drives, or is driven by, a gear, rack, or worm.
- any of the uniform projections on a sprocket by which it drives or is driven by a chain.
- any small, toothlike marginal lobe.
- one of the toothlike divisions of the peristome of mosses.
verb (used with object), toothed [tootht, toothd] /tuθt, tuðd/, tooth·ing [too-thing, -thing] /ˈtu θɪŋ, -ðɪŋ/.
verb (used without object), toothed [tootht, toothd] /tuθt, tuðd/, tooth·ing [too-thing, -thing] /ˈtu θɪŋ, -ðɪŋ/.
- toot one's own horn,
- toot sweet,
- tooth and nail,
- tooth ax,
- tooth bud,
- tooth chisel,
- tooth decay
- so as to face or confront; straight into or against: in the teeth of the wind.
- in defiance of; in opposition to: She maintained her stand in the teeth of public opinion.
- to induce an unpleasant sensation.
- to repel; irritate: The noise of the machines sets my teeth on edge.
Origin of tooth
noun plural teeth (tiːθ)
verb (tuːð, tuːθ)
Word Origin for tooth
Old English toð (plural teð), from Proto-Germanic *tanth, *tunth (cf. Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish, Dutch tand, Old Norse tönn, Old Frisian toth, Old High German zand, German Zahn, Gothic tunþus), from PIE *dont-/*dent- "tooth" (cf. Sanskrit danta, Greek odontos, Latin dens, Lithuanian dantis, Old Irish det, Welsh dent). Plural form teeth is an instance of i-mutation. Application to tooth-like parts of other objects (saws, combs, etc.) first recorded 1520s.
n. pl. teeth (tēth)
Plural teeth (tēth)
A hard structure, embedded in the jaws of the mouth, that functions in chewing. The tooth consists of a crown, covered with hard white enamel; a root, which anchors the tooth to the jawbone; and a “neck” between the crown and the root, covered by the gum. Most of the tooth is made up of dentin, which is located directly below the enamel. The soft interior of the tooth, the pulp, contains nerves and blood vessels. Humans have molars for grinding food, incisors for cutting, and canines and bicuspids for tearing.
long in the tooth
Getting on in years, old, as in Aunt Aggie's a little long in the tooth to be helping us move. This expression alludes to a horse's gums receding with age and making the teeth appear longer. [Mid-1800s]
In addition to the idiom beginning with tooth
- tooth fairy
- fight tooth and nail
- fine-tooth comb
- long in the tooth
- sweet tooth
Also see underteeth.