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See more synonyms for tusk on Thesaurus.com
  1. (in certain animals) a tooth developed to great length, usually one of a pair, as in the elephant, walrus, and wild boar, but singly in the narwhal.
  2. a long, pointed, or protruding tooth.
  3. a projection resembling the tusk of an animal.
  4. Also called gain. Carpentry. a diagonally cut shoulder at the end of a timber for strengthening a tenon.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to dig up or tear off with the tusks.
  2. to gore with a tusk.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to dig up or thrust at the ground with the tusks.
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Origin of tusk

before 900; Middle English, metathetic variant of tux, Old English, variant of tusc tush2; cognate with Old Frisian tusk; akin to tooth
Related formstusk·less, adjectivetusk·like, adjectiveun·tusked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tusk

ivory, tush, canine, tooth, incisor, fang

Examples from the Web for tusk

Contemporary Examples of tusk

Historical Examples of tusk

British Dictionary definitions for tusk


  1. a pointed elongated usually paired tooth in the elephant, walrus, and certain other mammals that is often used for fighting
  2. the canine tooth of certain animals, esp horses
  3. a sharp pointed projection
  4. Also called: tusk tenon building trades a tenon shaped with an additional oblique shoulder to make a stronger joint
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  1. to stab, tear, or gore with the tusks
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Derived Formstusked, adjectivetusklike, adjective

Word Origin for tusk

Old English tūsc; related to Old Frisian tosk; see tooth
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 tusk


Old English tux, tusc, cognate with Old Frisian tusk, probably from Proto-Germanic *tunthskaz (cf. Gothic tunþus "tooth"), extended form of the root of tooth. But there are no certain cognates outside Anglo-Frisian.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tusk in Science


  1. A long, pointed tooth, usually one of a pair, projecting from the mouth of certain animals, such as elephants, walruses, and wild pigs. Tusks are used for procuring food and as weapons.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.