\ 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

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

The long teeth detangle and the shorter teeth smooth the cuticle. Marci Robin, Allure, "Tangle Teezer Launched a New Brush Specifically for Fine, Breakage-Prone Hair," 6 Apr. 2019 Veneers have good color stability compared to the natural tooth. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "What to Consider Before Getting Veneers on Your Teeth," 28 Feb. 2019 So, instead of being hard to spot, the F-15X will be armed to the teeth. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Air Force Is Buying New F-15s After All," 19 Feb. 2019 Based on a 2014 novel by William Giraldi and starring Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgård, the film is set in a snowy landscape where wolves prowl and the Alaskan frontier citizenry is armed to the teeth. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "With Hold the Dark, Netflix’s Original Movies Are Finally Getting Interesting," 28 Sep. 2018 The 6-foot-2 Frenchman thrilled Spurs fans by weaving his way through the teeth of opposing defenses at breakneck speed, kissing the ball softly off the glass and then falling hard to the court. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Parker’s fearless drives won’t be forgotten," 6 July 2018 Charcoal powder for the whitest teeth Charcoal is one of the most popular wellness products out there. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "Here are the 5 best Amazon deals right now," 6 July 2018 Image Sisig — say it SEE-sig, half-hissing, the tongue darting behind the teeth — is a dish at once ancient and young. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "A Filipino Specialty Best Paired With a Brew in the East Village," 5 July 2018 The Venice coastal area sits on top of a fossil layer that runs 18 to 35 feet deep, and as storms and waves break pieces off, the teeth wash ashore for people to find. Ellie Rushing,, "Florida towns' claims to fame: We're No. 1," 3 July 2018

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!