\ ˈtəsk How to pronounce tusk (audio) \

Definition of tusk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an elongated greatly enlarged tooth (as of an elephant or walrus) that projects when the mouth is closed and serves especially for digging food or as a weapon broadly : a long protruding tooth
2 : one of the small projections on a tusk tenon


tusked; tusking; tusks

Definition of tusk (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to dig up with a tusk also : to gash with a tusk

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tusk


tusked \ ˈtəskt How to pronounce tusked (audio) \ adjective
tusklike \ ˈtəsk-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tusklike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tusk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The site, which was found during construction of a new bypass in Drasenhofen on the Czech border, contains mammoth tusks and bones. James Rogers, Fox News, "Elephant bird mystery solved? Discovery may explain demise of world's largest-ever birds," 13 Sep. 2018 Approximately 100 elephants are poached/killed every day for their ivory tusks. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Shared a Previously Unseen Photo From Their Botswana Trip," 4 Apr. 2019 Last year, four of the park’s rangers were murdered by poachers, who hack off elephant tusks that can fetch $1,000 a pound in the ivory market in China. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "A 21st-century Noah’s ark transports animals back to places where they’ve been wiped out.," 18 May 2018 But there's no good way to prove what's legal and what's not, so poached elephant tusks from South and East Africa disappear into the perfectly legal ivory market in Beijing and Hong Kong. Janet Fang, Popular Mechanics, "New Netflix Doc Walks the Front Lines of the War to Save Elephants," 11 Nov. 2016 In the 1980s, fishermen working off the coast of Indonesia made a surprising haul: a cargo of ceramic vessels, elephant tusks, sweet-smelling resin, and other artifacts from a ship that had lain on the bottom of the Java Sea for centuries. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "An 800-year-old label may rewrite the history of a Java Sea shipwreck," 16 May 2018 In the dining foyer, an elephant tusk dining table is surrounded by chairs upholstered in a cheerful ikat by Clarence house, while a Kelly Wearstler chandelier shines overhead. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "An Uninspired NYC Apartment Is Revived With Color, Charisma, and Customization," 17 Jan. 2019 Someone broke into the center early one morning and took the tusk. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "A mammoth tusk was stolen from an Anchorage science center. The BLM is offering a reward for tips.," 19 June 2018 Their later descriptions of the elephant to each other disagree, though each individual’s description is accurate and captures one portion of the elephant: a tusk, a leg, an ear. Vivek Wadhwa And Alex Salkever, WIRED, "How Can We Make Technology Healthier for Humans?," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

He also was ordered to transfer the elephant’s tusks back to the Zimbabwean government. Washington Post, "Charges filed against South Africa hunter over ivory import," 22 May 2018 Now American Airlines is telling passengers some of their service and emotional support animals — including goats, hedgehogs and tusked creatures — can’t fly. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "American Airlines bans emotional support amphibians, ferrets, goats and more," 14 May 2018 In fact, last July Hong Kong authorities seized 7.2 tons of elephant tusks hidden under a shipment of frozen fish from Malaysia, the largest ivory bust. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Hong Kong Will Phase Out Ivory Trade by 2021," 2 Feb. 2018 TUSK TAKERS: Thai officials at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, in Bangkok, Thailand, confiscated nearly 700 pounds of African elephant tusks worth about $800,000, the Associated Press says. Jonathan Irish, National Geographic, "Law Enforcement Officer Fatally Shot By Suspected Poacher," 10 Apr. 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of tusk


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1629, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tusk


Middle English, alteration of tux, from Old English tūx; akin to Old English tūsc tush

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tusk

Dictionary Entries near tusk








Statistics for tusk

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tusk

The first known use of tusk was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tusk



English Language Learners Definition of tusk

: a very long, large tooth that sticks out of the mouth of an animal (such as an elephant, walrus, or boar)


\ ˈtəsk How to pronounce tusk (audio) \

Kids Definition of tusk

: a very long large tooth (as of an elephant or walrus) that sticks out when the mouth is closed and is used especially in digging and fighting


\ ˈtəsk How to pronounce tusk (audio) \

Medical Definition of tusk

: an elongated greatly enlarged tooth that projects when the mouth is closed and serves for digging food or as a weapon broadly : a long protruding tooth

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tusk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tusk

Spanish Central: Translation of tusk

Nglish: Translation of tusk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tusk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tusk

Comments on tusk

What made you want to look up tusk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!