tooth·​less ˈtüth-ləs How to pronounce toothless (audio)
: having no teeth
: lacking in sharpness or bite
spoke in toothless generalitiesArthur Hepner
: lacking in means of enforcement or coercion : ineffectual

Examples of toothless in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web International bodies issued toothless statements of concern as Myanmar’s military reportedly burned entire villages, dropped bombs indiscriminately, and raped civilians. Timothy McLaughlin, The Atlantic, 4 Apr. 2024 If officials can shield public business done on their personal devices by simply asserting that there’s no enforcement mechanism to get those records, then the 2016 law is essentially toothless. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 3 Apr. 2024 This toothless beauty grew up to receive countless accolades for her flawless songwriting and performances. Grace Gavilanes, Peoplemag, 1 Apr. 2024 Bahrain has seen anti-Israeli protests, and its toothless parliament passed a symbolic resolution about severing ties with Israel, but its regime has ignored all that. Gregg Carlstrom, Foreign Affairs, 6 Mar. 2024 Almost every other city board or commission is toothless when compared to the parks board, which uniquely has the power to hire and fire the parks director and decide where most parks funds are spent. Mike Hendricks, Kansas City Star, 22 Mar. 2024 Decades of exempting Israel from international standards while pursuing empty and toothless talk of an unattainable two-state future has severely undermined the United States’ standing in the world. Marc Lynch, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 But landlords often have little incentive to address housing code violations under a D.C. enforcement system that can be lengthy and ultimately toothless insofar as compelling meaningful relief for tenants, council members and housing advocates say. Danny Nguyen, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 Interspersing her piece with tales of her own (toothless) cat, Florence Meowmalade, Ho creates a delightful read. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 14 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'toothless.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of toothless was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near toothless

Cite this Entry

“Toothless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


tooth·​less ˈtüth-ləs How to pronounce toothless (audio)
: having no teeth

More from Merriam-Webster on toothless

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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