tooth

noun

plural teeth ˈtēth How to pronounce tooth (audio)
1
a
: 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
3
a
teeth plural : effective means of enforcement
drug laws with teeth
b
: something that injures, tortures, devours, or destroys
jealousy with rankling toothThomas Gray
4
5
: a roughness of surface produced by mechanical or artificial means
toothlike adjective

Illustration of tooth

Illustration of tooth
  • A outside of a molar
Phrases
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 resistanceA. J. Toynbee
to the teeth
: fully, completely
armed to the teeth

Example Sentences

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 What are some of the main causes of tooth yellowing and stains? Sam Peters, ELLE, 21 Jan. 2023 Fossils of boney fish and marine crocodiles have been found here, but amateur fossil hunters usually walk away with calcified shells and an occasional shark tooth. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Jan. 2023 The largest tooth whales in the world, sperm whales can be up to 60-feet long, weigh around 45 tons and live up to 60 years. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 18 Jan. 2023 But most of them are much smaller than Molly’s huge tooth. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 14 Jan. 2023 Popular TikTok figure and dentist Ben Winters told NBC that tooth damage can be irreversible. Dallas News, 12 Jan. 2023 At night time, spit out excess toothpaste but try not to rinse after brushing in order to leave a reservoir of fluoride which will help to remineralize tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Bianca London, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2023 Someone could pop it in their mouth and use it for a tooth implant. Heather Lanier, Longreads, 10 Jan. 2023 According to a press release, Ali suffered from several dental issues due to her unique jaw shape, including a severe tooth infection. Haadiza Ogwude, The Enquirer, 10 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near tooth

Cite this Entry

“Tooth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tooth. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

tooth

noun
plural teeth ˈtēth How to pronounce tooth (audio)
1
a
: one of the hard bony structures that are usually located on the jaws of vertebrates and are used for seizing and chewing food and as weapons
b
: any of various usually hard and sharp structures especially around the mouth of an invertebrate
2
a
: something like or suggesting the tooth of an animal in shape, arrangement, or action
the tooth of a saw
b
: one of the projections on the rim of a cogwheel that fit between the projections on another part especially to transmit force : cog
toothless
ˈtüth-ləs
adjective
toothlike adjective

Medical Definition

tooth

noun
plural teeth ˈtēth How to pronounce tooth (audio)
: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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