\ ˈtüth How to pronounce tooth (audio) \
plural teeth\ ˈtēth How to pronounce teeth (audio) \

Definition of tooth

1a : one of the hard bony appendages that are borne on the jaws or in many of the lower vertebrates on other bones in the walls of the mouth or pharynx and serve especially for the prehension and mastication of food and as weapons of offense and defense
b : any of various usually hard and sharp processes especially about the mouth of an invertebrate
2 : a projection resembling or suggesting the tooth of an animal in shape, arrangement, or action a saw tooth : such as
a : any of the regular projections on the circumference or sometimes the face of a wheel that engage with corresponding projections on another wheel especially to transmit force : cog
b : a small sharp-pointed marginal lobe or process on a plant
3a teeth plural : effective means of enforcement drug laws with teeth
b : something that injures, tortures, devours, or destroys jealousy with rankling tooth— Thomas Gray
5 : a roughness of surface produced by mechanical or artificial means
in the teeth of
1 : in or into direct contact or collision with sailing in the teeth of a hurricaneCurrent Biography
2 : in direct opposition to rule had … been imposed by conquest in the teeth of obstinate resistance— A. J. Toynbee
to the teeth
: fully, completely armed to the teeth

Illustration of tooth

Illustration of tooth

tooth 1a: A outside of a molar: 1 crown, 2 neck, 3 roots; B cross section of a molar: 1 enamel, 2 dentin, 3 pulp, 4 cementum, 5 gum; C dentition of adult human, upper; D dentition of adult human, lower: 1 incisors, 2 canines, 3 bicuspids, 4 molars

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tooth

toothlike \ ˈtüth-​ˌlīk How to pronounce toothlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tooth in a Sentence

The dentist will have to pull that tooth. You should brush your teeth every morning and night. She clenched her teeth in anger. He has a set of false teeth. the teeth of a saw The labor union showed that it has teeth.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Those with a sweeter tooth may prefer the Rosé bears instead. Alicia Cypress, USA TODAY, "21 gift ideas for the wine lover in your life," 20 Oct. 2020 The event organizer, Philip Anderson, posted photos of himself on social media showing his bloody mouth with a front tooth missing. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "San Francisco police make no arrests after free speech rally attacked, leaving multiple people injured," 19 Oct. 2020 So many of them are one bad tooth or one accident away from their money being wiped out. Susan Dunne,, "Ocean Vuong on Hartford, Glastonbury, the American character and the lasting trauma of the people of Vietnam," 18 Oct. 2020 Following the screening of David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, Attenborough gave a very special present to George: a tooth from a giant shark that lived 23 million years ago. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Looking Back at David Attenborough's Relationship with Queen Elizabeth and the Rest of the Royal Family," 28 Sep. 2020 The girl woke up with a loose tooth recently and worried the tooth fairy wouldn’t be able to pay because of the shortage. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Notre Dame and Michigan State become latest to move classes online as colleges grapple with outbreaks," 19 Aug. 2020 One nurse was denied a dental appointment after breaking a tooth, because the dentist didn’t want to have contact with someone who worked with coronavirus patients. Washington Post, "Inside a Florida hospital, coronavirus cases wane as strained staff brace for a fall surge," 7 Oct. 2020 Police said the victim suffered a cut below the eyebrow and a broken tooth., "Texas Man Accused of Punch During Trump Argument Turns Self in," 5 Oct. 2020 Police said the victim suffered a cut below the right eyebrow and a broken tooth. Fox News, "Texas man turns self in after throwing punch, breaking man’s tooth in argument over Trump: police," 5 Oct. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of tooth

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tooth

Middle English, from Old English tōth; akin to Old High German zand tooth, Latin dent-, dens, Greek odont-, odous

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tooth

Time Traveler for tooth

Time Traveler

The first known use of tooth was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for tooth

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tooth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tooth


How to pronounce tooth (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tooth

: one of the hard white objects inside the mouth that are used for biting and chewing
: a sharp or pointed object that sticks out of something and is part of a row of similar objects
: the power that makes something effective


\ ˈtüth How to pronounce tooth (audio) \
plural teeth\ ˈtēth \

Kids Definition of tooth

1 : one of the hard bony structures set in sockets on the jaws of most vertebrates and used especially to chew and bite
2 : something like or suggesting an animal's tooth in shape, arrangement, or action the teeth of a comb
3 : one of the projections around the rim of a wheel that fit between the projections on another part causing the other part to move as the wheel turns

Other Words from tooth

toothless \ ˈtüth-​ləs \ adjective


\ ˈtüth How to pronounce tooth (audio) \
plural teeth\ ˈtēth How to pronounce teeth (audio) \

Medical Definition of tooth

: any of the hard bony appendages that are borne on the jaws and serve especially for the prehension and mastication of food — see milk tooth, permanent tooth

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on tooth

What made you want to look up tooth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!