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 Hollywood is, in other words, too toothless, too airily bloodless, and too nice to leave much of an impression. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "Hollywood Keeps Trying to Rewrite Its History," 1 May 2020 But the resolution is effectively toothless, and sanctions require unanimity, with Poland and Hungary each promising to veto sanctions aimed at the other. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "Poland and Hungary Use Coronavirus to Punish Opposition," 22 Apr. 2020 Any protections of minorities, like those internationally affirmed in the wake of World War I, soon proved toothless — above all, for Europe’s Jews. Steven J. Zipperstein, New York Times, "What Were the Origins of the Holocaust?," 7 Apr. 2020 Read More: Madoff Upstaged in Denmark by Bodybuilding Fraudster Danes seem to think their criminal justice system is a bit toothless, and have turned to social media to vent. Morten Buttler,, "She Stole $17 Million to Join the Rich, and Then Reality Hit," 18 Feb. 2020 These later pterosaurs, such as Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus, had short tails and toothless jaws, and some reached the size of small airplanes. John Pickrell, Scientific American, "Footprint Find Could Be a “Holy Grail” of Pterosaur Research," 11 Feb. 2020 But now Molly looks like hell — emaciated, her hair a dirty bottle blonde and green rat's nest, her skin a mess, her hands attempting to hide a toothless mouth riddled with gum disease. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Four Good Days': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 26 Jan. 2020 Danes seem to think their criminal justice system is a bit toothless, and have turned to social media to vent. Time, "Amid Wave of Tax Fraud in Denmark, Social Worker Jailed For Embezzling $17 Million," 2 Mar. 2020 Trump combined toothless belligerence with economic sanctions designed to destroy Iran’s economy and weaken its regime, similar to his approach to North Korea but without the alternating eruptions of insult and bonhomie. Steven Simon, The New York Review of Books, "The Middle East: Trump Blunders In," 16 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of toothless

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for toothless

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

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Statistics for toothless

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Toothless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for toothless


How to pronounce toothless (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of toothless

: having or showing no teeth
: not effective or powerful


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

Medical Definition of toothless

: having no teeth

More from Merriam-Webster on toothless

Spanish Central: Translation of toothless

Nglish: Translation of toothless for Spanish Speakers

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