tooth·​less | \ ˈtüth-ləs \

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

Perhaps my favorite was the portrait of him as a toothless six year old. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Nate Berkus’s Throwback Photos Are The Instagram Content You Never Knew You Needed," 25 Jan. 2019 The bojani had a few adaptations that enabled it to thrive as an herbivore, including a toothless mouth with a horned beak like a turtle, and its stomach acted a bit like a grain mill to digest the food. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "An Elephant-Size Mammal Relative Roamed Among Dinosaurs," 22 Nov. 2018 Though that word has become somewhat toothless, co-opted by marketing language, its utopian aspirations are what make The Handmaid’s Tale empowering, and possibly revolutionary. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Do We Really Need a Handmaid’s Tale Sequel?," 29 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, Finland's neighbours, Sweden, played out a toothless 0-0 draw against Peru, with both sides registering only four shots on target between them at the Ulevi stadium in Gothenburg., "International Roundup: Serbia Smash Bolivia, Spain Scrape Win & Mbappe Salvages France Draw," 9 June 2018 The toothless carp fish – which are plant eaters – voraciously feast on dead human skin. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Fish pedicure causes woman to lose her toenails, report says," 3 July 2018 Liverpool fans were impressed by Martial's performance away at Brighton as once again the Manchester club looked toothless, registering just three shots on target in the 90 minutes and losing 1-0 on the night., "Liverpool Fans Cry Out for Club to Sign Man Utd Star After Seeing Performance Against Brighton," 5 May 2018 This time, however, the special counsel’s indictment is somewhat toothless. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Truth Without Consequences," 13 July 2018 The Supreme Court’s new test means surrendering its independent judgment in national-security cases If that’s true, the courts are toothless as a check on discrimination. Aziz Huq, Vox, "The travel ban decision echoes of some of the worst Supreme Court decisions in history," 26 June 2018

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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Statistics for toothless

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for toothless

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

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More Definitions for toothless



English Language Learners Definition of toothless

: having or showing no teeth
: not effective or powerful


tooth·​less | \ ˈtüth-ləs \

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

Comments on toothless

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excited commotion or publicity

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