eden·​tu·​lous (ˌ)ē-ˈden-chə-ləs How to pronounce edentulous (audio)

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Edentulous comes to English directly from the Latin word edentulus, which in turn comes from the Latin prefix e-, meaning "missing" or "absent," and the Latin root dent-, meaning "tooth." This root is at work in many familiar English words that relate to teeth, including "dental," "dentist," and "denture." It is also found in "edentate," a less common word that functions as a noun referring to an order of mammals with few or no teeth (e.g. sloths and armadillos), and as an adjective describing such mammals. "Edentate" is also sometimes used as a synonym of "edentulous."

Examples of edentulous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Results were strongest when students were proposed to be linked to the edentulous individual in a personal way, i.e., dating or living as neighbor. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 16 Sep. 2011

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'edentulous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin edentulus, from e- + dent-, dens

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of edentulous was in 1782


Dictionary Entries Near edentulous

Cite this Entry

“Edentulous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/edentulous. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


eden·​tu·​lous (ˈ)ē-ˈden-chə-ləs How to pronounce edentulous (audio)
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