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tooth definition


This page has 14 definitions of tooth in English and Middle English. Tooth is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use tooth in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Tooth

English tooth definition

a tooth


From Middle English tothe, toth, tooth, from Old English tōþ (tooth), from Proto-West Germanic *tanþ, from Proto-Germanic *tanþs (tooth), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃dónts (tooth). Related to tusk. Doublet of dent, dens, tind, and tine.



tooth (plural teeth)

  1. A hard, calcareous structure present in the mouth of many vertebrate animals, generally used for biting and chewing food.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:tooth
    Hyponyms: bicuspid, canine, cuspid, incisor, premolar, molar; see also Thesaurus:tooth
  2. A sharp projection on the blade of a saw or similar implement.
  3. 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.
  4. Of a rope, the stickiness when in contact with another rope as in a knot.
    Jute has more tooth than polypropylene.
  5. (zoology) A projection or point in other parts of the body resembling the tooth of a vertebrate animal.
    • 1832, Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, A monograph of the fluviatile bivalve shells of the river Ohio, page 43:
      Species XXXVI. Obliquaria bullata— (Unio bullata) [] Found at the falls of Ohio; rare; breadth almost two inches; cardinal and lamellar teeth like preceding species; apices rounded, decorticated, but not truncated
  6. (botany) A pointed projection from the margin of a leaf.
  7. (animation) The rough surface of some kinds of cel or other films that allows better adhesion of artwork.
  8. (figurative) Liking, fondness (compare toothsome).
    Synonyms: fondness, appetite, taste, palate
    I have a sweet tooth: I love sugary treats.
    • 1693, John Dryden, “The Third Satire of Aulus Persius Flaccus”, in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis:
      These are not dishes for thy dainty tooth
  9. (algebraic geometry) An irreducible component of a comb that intersects the handle in exactly one point, that point being distinct from the unique point of intersection for any other tooth of the comb.

Derived terms


See also


tooth (third-person singular simple present tooths, present participle toothing, simple past and past participle toothed)

  1. To provide or furnish with teeth.
    • 1815, William Wordsworth, The Brothers:
      His Wife sate near him, teasing matted wool, / While, from the twin cards toothed with glittering wire / He fed the spindle []
  2. To indent; to jag.
    to tooth a saw
  3. To lock into each other, like gear wheels.
    • 1678, Joseph Moxon, Mechanick Exercises: or the Doctrine of Handy-works[1], page 260:
      Whereas if the Header of one side of the wall, toothed as much as the Stretcher on the other side, it would be a stronger Toothing, and the joints of the Header on one side, would be in the middle of the Headers of the course they lie upon of the other side


Middle English tooth definition



  1. Alternative form of tothe