\ 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

Composed of gold, rubies, garnets, and pearls, with teeth made of white enamel and special attention accorded the animal’s ears and eyebrows, this piece of jewelry demands a look. Sanford Schwartz, The New York Review of Books, "The Pure Portraitist," 9 May 2019 At 2 years old, an infant T. rex, for example, was the size of a golden retriever, with teeth not much bigger. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, "Tyrannosaurus Rex: Scary. Smart. Social?," 12 Apr. 2019 Anyone who sees one is warned not to approach it and risk an encounter with its sharp teeth and claws. David Fleshler,, "This lizard can get big enough to eat a cat - and it’s on the prowl in Plantation," 6 June 2019 At Oga’s, silly conversation is free but alcoholic beverages run from $12 for a beer on tap to $42 for a cocktail with an Endor mug and $75 for a beer flight on a souvenir board with Rancor teeth. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Why Oga's Cantina is the happiest place at Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge," 3 June 2019 Here are some common reasons women find themselves with chattering teeth and frozen fingers more often than not. 1. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "Why Am I Always Cold?," 16 Oct. 2018 In surveillance video released by the sheriff's office, Titan can be seen latching onto Wilson's arm with his teeth as a deputy commands the 24-year-old to get onto his stomach or else the dog would not let go. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Florida man who tried to kidnap child taken down by K-9, police say," 19 Sep. 2018 Camille’s assignment is to cover two recent grisly crimes: A young girl was found dead in a river with her teeth yanked clean out of her gums, and another has gone missing. Jessica M. Goldstein, Marie Claire, "Gillian Flynn, Killer Queen," 8 July 2018 Movements have instructions such as smile with no teeth, then purse the lips, then keep lips pursed, then smile again, then hold the smile for 20 seconds. Leah Prinzivalli, Bon Appetit, "Nope, Sorry, I Won't Exercise My Face," 12 June 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.

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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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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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showing courage and determination

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