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

Their toothless mouths telescope out and vacuum up anything from worms to mussels. Fox News, "Sturgeon, America's forgotten dinosaurs, are showing signs of life," 10 July 2019 Many of the buildings became roofless husks, toothless mouths, ruins. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Airplanes That Rescue Ebola Patients," 5 July 2019 While welcome, both of these efforts are largely toothless. James P. Sutton, National Review, "YIMBYism Goes National," 1 July 2019 Pangolins are toothless and use a stickytongue— the giant’s stretches nearly two feet—to feast on termites. Paul Hilton, National Geographic, "Poaching is sending the shy, elusive pangolin to its doom," 17 June 2019 His visitors encountered a palsied, toothless, half-blind figure, unable to rise from his favorite armchair to greet them. Richard Norton Smith, WSJ, "‘The Problem of Democracy’ Review: Cicero & Son; or, a Party of Two," 12 Apr. 2019 Some have suggested that those with toothless beaks were better at eating seeds and grains, which would have more easily survived in the apocalyptic landscape than the plants that made them. Amina Khan,, "The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also shaped the evolution of birds," 24 May 2018 Due to toothless legislation and Native Americans’ economic and political disenfranchisement, counterfeiters continued to produce misleading goods despite attempts to strengthen laws. Alexandra Mondalek, Vox, "Fake turquoise jewelry is hurting Native Americans economically," 24 Oct. 2018 Dawson’s stumbles are a consequence of his generally toothless approach to Jake Paul, one that has come to define the series, for better or worse. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Jake Paul’s racism controversy reveals the flaw in Shane Dawson’s docuseries," 19 Oct. 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

19 Jul 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 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

Comments on toothless

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characterized by aphorism

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