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.
verb (used with object)
  1. to dig up or tear off with the tusks.
  2. to gore with a tusk.
verb (used without object)
  1. to dig up or thrust at the ground with the tusks.

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

Examples from the Web for tusked

Historical Examples of tusked

British Dictionary definitions for tusked


  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
  1. to stab, tear, or gore with the tusks
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 tusked



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tusked 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.