(in most vertebrates) one of the hard bodies or processes usually attached in a row to each jaw, serving for the prehension and mastication of food, as weapons of attack or defense, etc., and in mammals typically composed chiefly of dentin surrounding a sensitive pulp and covered on the crown with enamel.
(in invertebrates) any of various similar or analogous processes occurring in the mouth or alimentary canal, or on a shell.
any projection resembling or suggesting a tooth.
one of the projections of a comb, rake, saw, etc.
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.
a sharp, distressing, or destructive attribute or agency.
taste, relish, or liking.
a surface, as on a grinding wheel or sharpening stone, slightly roughened so as to increase friction with another part.
a rough surface created on a paper made for charcoal drawing, watercolor, or the like, or on canvas for oil painting.
to furnish with teeth.
to cut teeth upon.
to interlock, as cogwheels.
Idioms about tooth
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,
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.
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,
to induce an unpleasant sensation.
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.
- toothlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tooth in a sentence
After graduating from Kalamazoo College, he cut his teeth at Second City in Chicago and eventually moved to Los Angeles.
Think about how much easier it is to pull an apple from a tree using hands rather than with your teeth.
Shark teeth cut into flesh on jaws that extend outwards towards prey independently of the skull.This ancient sea reptile had a slicing bite like no other | Jake Buehler | February 2, 2021 | Science News
If soft tissue or teeth from bobbit worms were found preserved inside a burrow, that would confirm that these animals were living in the area 20 million years ago.Giant worms may have burrowed into the ancient seafloor to ambush prey | Helen Thompson | January 22, 2021 | Science News
Crooked teeth, cut-open faces and bloodied attire is no match for you and your camera skills.Are you a ‘Phasmophobia’ pro? Here are some alternate rules to keep the scares fresh. | Elise Favis | January 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Before anti-vaxxers, there were anti-fluoriders: a group who spread fear about the anti-tooth decay agent added to drinking water.
As a means of preventing tooth decay in those cities that do fluoridate, the practice certainly looks like a success.
For all of the bellyaching, tooth gnashing, and public wailing, Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.
This award is fought over tooth-and-nail each year by political consultants from sea to shining sea.The Strangest, Cheesiest, Most Brazenly False Political Ads of 2014 | Jack Holmes, The Daily Beast Video | November 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Spooky tooth had reformed quite a while before I received the call and were touring quite often.When Gary Wright Met George Harrison: Dream Weaver, John and Yoko, and More | Gary Wright | September 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The exhaust-valve is exactly as when it was put in, worked by a rack-and-tooth segment.Life of Richard Trevithick, Volume II (of 2) | Francis Trevithick
An Irish housemaid who was sent to call a gentleman to dinner, found him engaged in using a tooth-brush.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
An immense number of pilgrims come here every year to pay their adoration to this divine tooth.A Woman's Journey Round the World | Ida Pfeiffer
If he has made the tooth of a poor man to fall out, he shall pay one-third of a mina of silver.The Oldest Code of Laws in the World | Hammurabi, King of Babylon
If a man has made the tooth of a man that is his equal to fall out, one shall make his tooth fall out.The Oldest Code of Laws in the World | Hammurabi, King of Babylon
British Dictionary definitions for tooth
any of various bonelike structures set in the jaws of most vertebrates and modified, according to the species, for biting, tearing, or chewing: Related adjective: dental
any of various similar structures in invertebrates, occurring in the mouth or alimentary canal
anything resembling a tooth in shape, prominence, or function: the 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 force: we fought tooth and nail
(tr) to provide with a tooth or teeth
(intr) (of two gearwheels) to engage
- toothless, adjective
- toothlike, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for tooth
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.
Cultural definitions for 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.
Other Idioms and Phrases with tooth
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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.