tooth·​less | \ ˈtüth-ləs How to pronounce toothless (audio) \

Definition of toothless

1 : having no teeth
2a : lacking in sharpness or bite spoke in toothless generalities— Arthur Hepner
b : lacking in means of enforcement or coercion : ineffectual

Examples of toothless in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Andrew’s goofiness is too virtuous, too useful, to be annoying; his cantankerousness is too transparently toothless to be offensive. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 16 June 2022 My review doesn't even go into the toothless conflict established by a familiar-looking villain (who comes with a new 2022 twist). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 16 June 2022 West's version looked like a toothless punchline in reruns. Darren Franich,, 5 Jan. 2022 Sometimes the talk is just lip service, to be sure, as toothless statements on company websites attest. New York Times, 8 June 2022 Experts don’t necessarily find that surprising: Per the statement, human remains recovered from two other cave sites in Chiapas in the last 40 years were similarly toothless. Elizabeth Djinis, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 May 2022 That is most likely because the marine reptiles were mostly toothless, filtering out and eating tiny creatures in the water similar to the way blue whales feed, Sander said. NBC News, 28 Apr. 2022 Baranski does her best to bring some Dowager-style snark to the party, but Fellowes’ barbs are mostly toothless. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Jan. 2022 Previous administrations have tried informational campaigns to discourage giving to panhandlers, as well as enforcement of laws -- which many point out result in toothless fines that further burden unhoused people and are rarely paid. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'toothless.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of toothless

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Toothless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for toothless


tooth·​less | \ ˈtüth-ləs How to pronounce toothless (audio) \

Medical Definition of toothless

: having no teeth

More from Merriam-Webster on toothless

Nglish: Translation of toothless for Spanish Speakers


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