den·​ti·​cle | \ ˈden-ti-kəl How to pronounce denticle (audio) \

Definition of denticle

: a conical pointed projection (such as a small tooth)

Examples of denticle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The shark skin denticles can flex at angles more than 40 degrees from its body—but only in the direction of reversing flow (i.e., from tail to nose). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists draw inspiration from shark skin for novel new smart material," 13 Mar. 2020 But scientists are now concerned that even durable denticles have met their match: ocean acidification. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Acidifying Oceans Could Corrode the Tooth-Like Scales on Shark Skin," 21 Dec. 2019 One study found that shark denticles are responsible for an up to 12 percent increase in swimming speed. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "Ocean Acidification Could Eat Away at Sharks’ Teeth and Scales," 19 Dec. 2019 In free-swimming sharks like the great white, denticles account for up to 12 percent of their swimming speed. Matt Simon, Wired, "Acidifying Oceans Could Eat Away at Sharks' Skin and Teeth," 19 Dec. 2019 So Auerswald and his colleagues decided to simulate the effects of acidification on the denticles of puffadder shysharks (Haploblepharus edwardsii) in the lab. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Acidifying Oceans Could Corrode the Tooth-Like Scales on Shark Skin," 21 Dec. 2019 But the longer the sharks spent bathing in the harsh liquid, the worse off their denticles were. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Acidifying Oceans Could Corrode the Tooth-Like Scales on Shark Skin," 21 Dec. 2019 These skin denticles decrease drag in the water and help sharks glide more quietly. Lauren Kent, CNN, "How sharks outlived dinosaurs and adapted to suit their environment," 28 Nov. 2019 One of the shark species studied also directs the glowing light through tiny, rigid denticles on its skin to enhance the fluorescent effect. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "These sharks glow underwater—thanks to tiny ‘lightsabers’," 8 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'denticle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of denticle

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for denticle

Middle English, from Latin denticulus, diminutive of dent-, dens

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Time Traveler for denticle

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The first known use of denticle was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Denticle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for denticle


den·​ti·​cle | \ ˈdent-i-kəl How to pronounce denticle (audio) \

Medical Definition of denticle

More from Merriam-Webster on denticle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with denticle Encyclopedia article about denticle

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