Definitions

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

  • n. One of a set of hard, bonelike structures rooted in sockets in the jaws of vertebrates, typically composed of a core of soft pulp surrounded by a layer of hard dentin that is coated with cementum or enamel at the crown and used for biting or chewing food or as a means of attack or defense.
  • n. A similar structure in invertebrates, such as one of the pointed denticles or ridges on the exoskeleton of an arthropod or the shell of a mollusk.
  • n. A projecting part resembling a tooth in shape or function, as on a comb, gear, or saw.
  • n. A small, notched projection along a margin, especially of a leaf. Also called dent2.
  • n. A rough surface, as of paper or metal.
  • n. Something that injures or destroys with force. Often used in the plural: the teeth of the blizzard.
  • n. Effective means of enforcement; muscle: "This . . . puts real teeth into something where there has been only lip service” ( Ellen Convisser).
  • n. Taste or appetite: She always had a sweet tooth.
  • transitive v. To furnish (a tool, for example) with teeth.
  • transitive v. To make a jagged edge on.
  • intransitive v. To become interlocked; mesh.
  • idiom get Slang To be actively involved in; get a firm grasp of.
  • idiom show To express a readiness to fight; threaten defiantly.
  • idiom to the teeth Lacking nothing; completely: armed to the teeth; dressed to the teeth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hard, calcareous structure present in the mouth of many vertebrate animals, generally used for eating.
  • n. A sharp projection on the blade of a saw or similar implement.
  • n. A projection on the edge of a gear that meshes with similar projections on adjacent gears, or on the circumference of a cog that engages with a chain.
  • n. A pointed projection from the margin of a leaf.
  • v. To provide or furnish with teeth.
  • v. To indent; to jag.
  • v. To lock into each other, like gear wheels.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the hard, bony appendages which are borne on the jaws, or on other bones in the walls of the mouth or pharynx of most vertebrates, and which usually aid in the prehension and mastication of food.
  • n. Fig.: Taste; palate.
  • n. Any projection corresponding to the tooth of an animal, in shape, position, or office.
  • n.
  • n. A projecting member resembling a tenon, but fitting into a mortise that is only sunk, not pierced through.
  • n. One of several steps, or offsets, in a tusk. See Tusk.
  • n. An angular or prominence on any edge
  • n. Any hard calcareous or chitinous organ found in the mouth of various invertebrates and used in feeding or procuring food.
  • transitive v. To furnish with teeth.
  • transitive v. To indent; to jag.
  • transitive v. To lock into each other. See Tooth, n., 4.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bite; taste.
  • To furnish with teeth: as, to tooth a rake.
  • To indent; cut into teeth; jag.
  • To lock one in another.
  • To teethe.
  • To interlock, as cog-wheels.
  • n. The topography of the tooth, as now described, is shown in the cuts.
  • n. A roughened surface, as of a paper prepared for pastels.
  • n. In masonry, one of the several projecting ends of stones or bricks already built into a wall and left at an unfinished end of it to facilitate the fitting of another piece of wall to the first one.
  • n. A hard (horny, dentinal, osseous, chitinous, calcareous, or silicious) body or substance, in the mouth, pharynx, gullet, or stomach of an animal, serving primarily for the apprehension, mastication, or trituration of food, and secondarily as a weapon of attack or defense, and for a variety of other purposes, as digging in the ground, climbing, articulation of vocal sounds, etc.
  • n. In Invertebrata, one of various hard bodies, presenting great variety of position and structure, which may occur in the alimentary canal from the month to the stomach.
  • n. In zoology, a projection resembling or likened to a tooth.
  • n. In botany, any small pointed marginal lobe, especially of a leaf: in mosses applied to the delicate fringe of processes about the mouth of the capsule, collectively known as the peristome. See peristome, Musci, and cuts under cilium and Dicranum.
  • n. Any projection corresponding to or resembling the tooth of an animal in shape, position, or office; a small, narrow, projecting piece, usually one of a set.
  • n. One of the tines or prongs of a fork.
  • n. One of the sharp wires of a carding-instrument.
  • n. One of a series of projections on the edge of a wheel which catch on corresponding parts of a wheel or other body; a cog. See cut under pinion.
  • n. plural In a rose-cut diamond, the lower zone of facets. They form a truncated cone-shaped base for the crown.
  • n. In veneering, the roughness made by the toothing-plane on the surfaces to be glued together to afford a good hold for the glue.
  • n. Figuratively, a fang; the sharp or distressing part of anything.
  • n. Palate; relish; taste, literally or figuratively. Compare a sweet tooth, below.
  • n. Keep; maintenance.
  • n. To one's face; openly.
  • n. Straight against: noting direction: as, to walk in the teeth of the wind.
  • n. In the face or presence of; before.
  • n. The processes or serration of the mandibles of any insect, as a stag-beetle.

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

  • n. one of a number of uniform projections on a gear
  • n. hard bonelike structures in the jaws of vertebrates; used for biting and chewing or for attack and defense
  • n. something resembling the tooth of an animal
  • n. toothlike structure in invertebrates found in the mouth or alimentary canal or on a shell
  • n. a means of enforcement

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English tōth.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English tooth, from Old English tōþ ("tooth"), from Proto-Germanic *tanþs (“tooth”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃dónts (“tooth”). Cognate with Scots tuth, tuith ("tooth"), North Frisian toth, tos ("tooth"), Dutch tand ("tooth"), German Zahn ("tooth"), Danish and Swedish tand ("tooth"), Icelandic tönn ("tooth"), Welsh dant ("tooth"), Latin dēns ("tooth"), Lithuanian dantìs ("tooth"), Ancient Greek ὀδούς (odous, odṓn, "tooth"), Armenian ատամ (atam), Persian دندان (dandân), Sanskrit दत् (dát, "tooth"). Related to tusk. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To fight “tooth and nail” is to fight with the intensity and ferocity of a wild animal: “The resistance forces fought the invading troops tooth and nail.

    tooth and nail

  • An adaptation of a command of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”; but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    Turn the other cheek

  • False tooth A ‘tooth’ made of plastic or other material, used to replace a tooth that has been taken out.

    Chapter 8

  • Scotland by way of Cocklawfoot, murmuring to himself, '_an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth_.'

    Border Ghost Stories

  • '_An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth_,' so Donald Macgregor muttered to himself as he strode cautiously down the water of Coquet, halting at the many crooks of that wayward water to spy out the land as he went forward.

    Border Ghost Stories

  • I speak of _the tooth_, because the creature has commonly but one; a cylindrical-pointed tooth, spirally furrowed, whose length varies from six to ten feet, and which comes straight out from the extreme front of the upper jaw, like a soldier's pike.

    The History of a Mouthful of Bread And its effect on the organization of men and animals

  • Not that there’s really a problem or anything, I mean, my teeth are perfectly straight, perfectly white, perfectly everything, it’s just I have this one tooth and it’s a baby tooth… because I don’t have a permanent tooth underneath it.

    aleighk21 Diary Entry

  • Three visits and a root canal later, my tooth is as good as new.

    Dental Work in Morelia

  • One thing I use to break the sweet tooth is an apple.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Burger Lite 26 Feb

  • Muppets my first and last post about fashion my first and last post about videogames my own writing mysteries of mysteries national portraits thru children's literature nature red in tooth and claw

    Celebrity: “a weird sort of energy”

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  • Military slang for combat forces. See citation on tail.

    May 9, 2010