• synonyms


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

First recorded in 1480–90; tooth + pick2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for toothpick

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper