tooth

[tooth]

noun, plural teeth.

verb (used with object), toothed [tootht, toothd] /tuθt, tuðd/, tooth·ing [too-thing, -thing] /ˈtu θɪŋ, -ðɪŋ/.

to furnish with teeth.
to cut teeth upon.

verb (used without object), toothed [tootht, toothd] /tuθt, tuðd/, tooth·ing [too-thing, -thing] /ˈtu θɪŋ, -ðɪŋ/.

to interlock, as cogwheels.

Idioms

    by the skin of one's teeth, barely: He got away by the skin of his teeth.
    cast/throw in someone's teeth, to reproach someone for (an action): History will ever throw this blunder in his teeth.
    cut one's teeth on, to do at the beginning of one's education, career, etc., or in one's youth: The hunter boasted of having cut his teeth on tigers.
    in the teeth of,
    1. so as to face or confront; straight into or against: in the teeth of the wind.
    2. in defiance of; in opposition to: She maintained her stand in the teeth of public opinion.
    long in the tooth, old; elderly.
    put teeth in/into, to establish or increase the effectiveness of: to put teeth into the law.
    set one's teeth, to become resolute; prepare for difficulty: He set his teeth and separated the combatants.
    set/put one's teeth on edge,
    1. to induce an unpleasant sensation.
    2. to repel; irritate: The noise of the machines sets my teeth on edge.
    show one's teeth, to become hostile or threatening; exhibit anger: Usually friendly, she suddenly began to show her teeth.
    to the teeth, entirely; fully: armed to the teeth; dressed to the teeth in furs.

Origin of tooth

before 900; Middle English; Old English tōth; cognate with Dutch tand, German Zahn, Old Norse tǫnn; akin to Gothic tunthus, Latin dēns, Greek odoús (Ionic odṓn), Sanskrit dánta
Related formstooth·like, adjective

Synonyms for tooth

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for set one's teeth

tooth

noun plural teeth (tiːθ)

any of various bonelike structures set in the jaws of most vertebrates and modified, according to the species, for biting, tearing, or chewingRelated adjective: dental
any of various similar structures in invertebrates, occurring in the mouth or alimentary canal
anything resembling a tooth in shape, prominence, or functionthe tooth of a comb
any of the various small indentations occurring on the margin of a leaf, petal, etc
any one of a number of uniform projections on a gear, sprocket, rack, etc, by which drive is transmitted
taste or appetite (esp in the phrase sweet tooth)
long in the tooth old or ageing: used originally of horses, because their gums recede with age
tooth and nail with ferocity and forcewe fought tooth and nail

verb (tuːð, tuːθ)

(tr) to provide with a tooth or teeth
(intr) (of two gearwheels) to engage
Derived Formstoothless, adjectivetoothlike, adjective

Word Origin for tooth

Old English tōth; related to Old Saxon tand, Old High German zand, Old Norse tonn, Gothic tunthus, Latin dens
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 set one's teeth

tooth

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

set one's teeth in Medicine

tooth

[tōōth]

n. pl. teeth (tēth)

One of a set of hard, bonelike structures rooted in sockets in the jaws of vertebrates, typically composed of a core of soft pulp surrounded by a layer of hard dentin that is coated with cement or enamel at the crown and used chiefly for biting or chewing food or as a means of attack or defense.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

set one's teeth in Science

tooth

[tōōth]

Plural teeth (tēth)

Any of the hard bony structures in the mouth used to grasp and chew food and as weapons of attack and defense. In mammals and many other vertebrates, the teeth are set in sockets in the jaw. In fish and amphibians, they grow in and around the palate. See also dentition.
A similar structure in certain invertebrate animals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

set one's teeth in Culture

tooth

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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with set one's teeth

tooth

In addition to the idiom beginning with tooth

  • tooth fairy

also see:

  • fight tooth and nail
  • fine-tooth comb
  • long in the tooth
  • sweet tooth

Also see underteeth.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.