a small pointed piece of wood, plastic, etc., for removing substances, especially food particles, from between the teeth.

Origin of toothpick

First recorded in 1480–90; tooth + pick2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for toothpick

Contemporary Examples of toothpick

  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick or knife, when inserted, comes out clean.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Carrot Cake Without Eggs Recipe

    Emily Chang

    March 15, 2011

  • Add the batter and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry when inserted in the center.

    The Daily Beast logo
    In Awe of Ina Garten

    Petrit Husenaj

    December 21, 2010

  • Bake in oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

  • Not one of them cared a toothpick for the Republican Party of their time and each struggled mightily to remake it.

    The Daily Beast logo
    GOP R.I.P.

    John Batchelor

    April 10, 2009

Historical Examples of toothpick

  • Her knitting was before her, but she had laid it down to pick her teeth with a toothpick.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • He became thoughtful again, and the toothpick was in requisition.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • Then roll quickly, hold together with a toothpick and toast the outside.

    Desserts and Salads

    Gesine Lemcke

  • She burst into a laugh and took out her toothpick to point it at me.

  • Miss Francis, her toothpick suspended, stood in rapt contemplation.

British Dictionary definitions for toothpick



a small sharp sliver of wood, plastic, etc, used for extracting pieces of food from between the teeth
a slang word for bowie knife
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 toothpick

late 15c., from tooth + pick (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper