Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lacking teeth.
  • adj. Of or belonging to the order Edentata, which includes mammals having few or no teeth, such as anteaters, armadillos, and sloths.
  • n. A member of the Edentata.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lacking teeth.
  • n. Any mammal that has few or no teeth, but especially the anteaters, armadillos, and sloths of the former order Edentata.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute of teeth
  • adj. Belonging to the Edentata.
  • n. One of the Edentata.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Edentulous; toothless.
  • Of or pertaining to the Edentata, and thus having at least no front teeth.
  • n. One of the Edentata; an ineducabilian placental mammal without incisors.
  • n. A toothless creature.
  • n. In botany, having no teeth, as an entire leaf.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. primitive terrestrial mammal with few if any teeth; of tropical Central America and South America
  • adj. having few if any teeth

Etymologies

Latin ēdentātus, past participle of ēdentāre, to knock out the teeth : ē-, ex-, ex- + dēns, dent-, tooth; see dent- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The main reason people loose all their teeth i.e., become "edentate" is tooth decay, not gum disease, as this figure shows, and as the article explains:

    The Marginal Tooth, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Everyone knows an edentate woman performing a one woman show, or giving a keynote speech, is inspiring to other dentally challenged people!

    Ellen Snortland: Sicko Reprise, Please

  • Note 3: armadillo, any of a family (Dasypodidae) of burrowing edentate mammals found from the southern U.S. to Argentina and having the body and head encased in an armor of small bony plates.

    Albert Collins Lyrics

  • Later, Jon Voight scales a cliff and wounds himself with his own crossbow while killing an innocent man he mistakes for the pervert's edentate sidekick.

    Faith-Based Initiative

  • There are no endemic birds restricted to the llanos ecoregion, and only two mammals: the marsupial Monodelphis orinoci and the edentate Dasypus sabanicola.

    Llanos

  • As would have been the case a million years ago, a typical colonist can expect to be edentate by the time he or she is thirty years old, having suffered many skull-cracking toothaches on the way.

    Galapagos

  • He secured Brigham's everlasting gratitude by making him a very handsome false set, and performing the same service for all of his favorite, but edentate wives.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 78, April, 1864

  • Obscure fusco-ferruginous, the antennæ and legs bright ferruginous; the head, thorax, and node of the petiole coarsely rugose; the eyes very prominent and glassy; the mandibles longitudinally but very delicately striated, their inner margin edentate; the thorax slightly narrowed behind.

    Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society - Vol. 3 Zoology

  • The Glyptodon was a mailed edentate, eight feet long, resembling the little armadillo.

    The Elements of Geology

  • A parallel case is, perhaps, to be found in the hairy armadillo, an extremely versatile and intelligent animal, although only an edentate.

    The Naturalist in La Plata

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