\ 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
4 : taste, liking
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ruby had hired a Hollywood prop designer to help him create gigantic skulls out of resin, with sharp teeth and bulbous eyeballs and tongues. Christina Binkley, The New Yorker, "Sterling Ruby’s Mixed Media," 2 Sep. 2019 In the smaller theaters, there’s a special pleasure to be had when a cast sinks its teeth into a project that really excites and energizes them. Christopher Arnott,, "‘Hamilton’ may have been king, but this latest Connecticut theater season was one of bold concepts, big challenges," 14 Aug. 2019 The by-product is an acid secretion that leads to tooth decay. NBC News, "10 common oral hygiene mistakes, according to dentists," 18 July 2019 Cox is a short but densely muscled man with bright-white teeth and a nervous, eager-to-please air. Rachel Monroe, The Atlantic, "The True-Crime Writer in Cellblock B4," 16 July 2019 Thanks to the acidity in the soil, all that remains of the skeleton are a few fragments of tooth enamel. Roff Smith, National Geographic, "New research questions famed burial of ‘first’ Christian Anglo-Saxon king," 8 May 2019 Chip is a male senior cat with some missing teeth that has been in a shelter for six years. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Here's how many pets at Central Indiana shelters found homes on Clear the Shelters Day," 19 Nov. 2018 Unlike genetic material, tooth enamel is generally impervious to degradation after death. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 In the short, a family's camping trip devolves into a desperate, tooth-and-scale battle for survival when a female Nasutoceratops and her baby wander toward the campfire. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "How the ‘Battle at Big Rock’ Short Film Sets Up a Smarter, Scarier ‘Jurassic World 3’," 16 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for tooth

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for tooth

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

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More Definitions for tooth



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tooth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tooth

Spanish Central: Translation of tooth

Nglish: Translation of tooth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tooth for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tooth

Comments on tooth

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involving a confidence or trust

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