What does tooth mean?

Definitions for tooth
tuθ; ˈtu θɪŋ, -ðɪŋtooth

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tooth.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. toothnoun

    hard bonelike structures in the jaws of vertebrates; used for biting and chewing or for attack and defense

  2. toothnoun

    something resembling the tooth of an animal

  3. toothnoun

    toothlike structure in invertebrates found in the mouth or alimentary canal or on a shell

  4. toothnoun

    a means of enforcement

    "the treaty had no teeth in it"

  5. toothnoun

    one of a number of uniform projections on a gear


  1. toothnoun

    A hard, calcareous structure present in the mouth of many vertebrate animals, generally used for eating.

  2. toothnoun

    A sharp projection on the blade of a saw or similar implement.

  3. toothnoun

    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. toothnoun

    A pointed projection from the margin of a leaf.

  5. toothverb

    To provide or furnish with teeth.

    The twin cards toothed with glittering wire. uE00017080uE001 Wordsworth.

  6. toothverb

    To indent; to jag.

    to tooth a saw

  7. Etymology: From tooth, from toþ, from tanþs, from h₃dónts. Cognate with toth, tos, Dutch tand, German Zahn, and tand, tönn, Welsh dant, Latin dens, Lithuanian dantis, Ancient Greek ὀδούς, Armenian ատամ, Persian دندان, Sanskrit. Related to tusk.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Toothnoun

    plural teeth. The teeth are the hardest and smoothest bones of the body; they are formed in the cavities of the jaws, and about the seventh or eighth month after birth they begin to pierce the edge of the jaw, tear the periosteum and gums, which being very sensible create a violent pain: the dentes incisivi, or fore teeth of the upper jaw, appear first, and then those of the lower jaw, because they are the thinnest and the sharpest; after them come out the canini or eye teeth, and last of all the molares or grinders, because they are thickest and bluntest: about the seventh year of age they are thrust out by new teeth which then begin to sprout, and if these teeth be lost they never grow again; but some have been observed to shed their teeth twice: about the one-and-twentieth year the two last of the molares spring up, and they are called dentes sapientiæ. John Quincy

    Etymology: to , Saxon; tand, Dutch.

    Avaunt, you curs!
    Be thy mouth or black or white,
    Tooth that poisons if it bite. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Desert deserves with characters of brass
    A forted residence against the tooth of time,
    And razure of oblivion. William Shakespeare.

    The teeth alone among the bones continue to grow in length during a man’s whole life, as appears by the unsightly length of one tooth when its opposite happens to be pulled out. John Ray, on the Creation.

    These are not dishes for thy dainty tooth;
    What, hast thou got an ulcer in thy mouth?
    Why stand’st thou picking? Dryden.

    The priests servant came while the flesh was in seething, with a flesh hook of three teeth. 1 Sam. ii. 13.

    I made an instrument in fashion of a comb, whose teeth, being in number sixteen, were about an inch and an half broad, and the intervals of the teeth about two inches wide. Isaac Newton, Opticks.

    The edge whereon the teeth are is always made thicker than the back, because the back follows the edge. Joseph Moxon.

    In clocks, though the screws and teeth be never so smooth, yet if they be not oiled will hardly move, though you clog them with never so much weight; but apply a little oil they whirl about very swiftly with the tenth part of the force. John Ray.

    A lion and bear were at tooth and nail which should carry off a fawn. Roger L'Estrange, Fables.

    It warms the very sickness in my heart,
    That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
    Thus diddest thou. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    The action lies
    In his true nature, and we ourselves compell’d,
    Ev’n to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
    To give in evidence. William Shakespeare.

    The way to our horses lies back again by the house, and then we shall meet ’em full in the teeth. Dryden.

    A wise body’s part it were not to put out his fire, because his fond and foolish neighbour, from whom he borrowed wherewith to kindle it, might cast him therewith in the teeth, saying, were it not for me thou wouldst freeze, and not be able to heat thyself. Richard Hooker, b. iv.

    The guiltiness of my mind drove the grossness of the foppery into a received belief, in despight of the teeth of all rhime and reason, that they were fairies. William Shakespeare.

    The only way is not to grumble at the lot they must bear in spite of their teeth. Roger L'Estrange.

  2. To Toothverb

    Etymology: from tooth.

    Then saws were tooth’d, and sounding axes made. Dryd.

    The point hooked down like that of an eagle; and both the edges toothed, as in the Indian crow. Nehemiah Grew, Musæum.

    Get a pair of tongs like a smith’s tongs, stronger and toothed at the end. John Mortimer, Husbandry.

    It is common to tooth in the stretching course two inches with the stretcher only. Joseph Moxon, Mech. Exercise.


  1. Tooth

    A tooth (PL: teeth) is a hard, calcified structure found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates and used to break down food. Some animals, particularly carnivores and omnivores, also use teeth to help with capturing or wounding prey, tearing food, for defensive purposes, to intimidate other animals often including their own, or to carry prey or their young. The roots of teeth are covered by gums. Teeth are not made of bone, but rather of multiple tissues of varying density and hardness that originate from the embryonic germ layer, the ectoderm. The general structure of teeth is similar across the vertebrates, although there is considerable variation in their form and position. The teeth of mammals have deep roots, and this pattern is also found in some fish, and in crocodilians. In most teleost fish, however, the teeth are attached to the outer surface of the bone, while in lizards they are attached to the inner surface of the jaw by one side. In cartilaginous fish, such as sharks, the teeth are attached by tough ligaments to the hoops of cartilage that form the jaw.Some animals develop only one set of teeth (monophyodonts) while others are diphyodonts, i.e. they have an early set of deciduous teeth and a later set of permanent or "adult" teeth. Still others develop many sets (polyphyodonts). Sharks, for example, grow a new set of teeth every two weeks to replace worn teeth. Most extant mammals including humans are diphyodonts, but there are exceptions including elephants, kangaroos, and manatees, all of which are polyphyodonts. Rodent incisors grow and wear away continually through gnawing, which helps maintain relatively constant length. The industry of the beaver is due in part to this qualification. Many rodents such as voles and guinea pigs, but not mice, as well as leporidae like rabbits, have continuously growing molars in addition to incisors. Also, tusks (in tusked mammals) grow almost throughout life.Teeth are not always attached to the jaw, as they are in mammals. In many reptiles and fish, teeth are attached to the palate or to the floor of the mouth, forming additional rows inside those on the jaws proper. Some teleosts even have teeth in the pharynx. While not true teeth in the usual sense, the dermal denticles of sharks are almost identical in structure and are likely to have the same evolutionary origin. Indeed, teeth appear to have first evolved in sharks, and are not found in the more primitive jawless fish – while lampreys do have tooth-like structures on the tongue, these are in fact, composed of keratin, not of dentine or enamel, and bear no relationship to true teeth. Though "modern" teeth-like structures with dentine and enamel have been found in late conodonts, they are now supposed to have evolved independently of later vertebrates' teeth.Living amphibians typically have small teeth, or none at all, since they commonly feed only on soft foods. In reptiles, teeth are generally simple and conical in shape, although there is some variation between species, most notably the venom-injecting fangs of snakes. The pattern of incisors, canines, premolars and molars is found only in mammals, and to varying extents, in their evolutionary ancestors. The numbers of these types of teeth vary greatly between species; zoologists use a standardised dental formula to describe the precise pattern in any given group.


  1. tooth

    A tooth is a hard, calcified structure found in the jaws of many animals, including humans, used to break down food by cutting, chewing, or grinding. Teeth are generally composed of enamel, dentin, and pulp and they aid in mechanical digestion. They also play a key role in speech and can contribute to overall appearance in terms of facial aesthetics. There are several types of teeth including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, each having its own function.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Toothnoun

    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

  2. Toothnoun

    fig.: Taste; palate

  3. Toothnoun

    any projection corresponding to the tooth of an animal, in shape, position, or office; as, the teeth, or cogs, of a cogwheel; a tooth, prong, or tine, of a fork; a tooth, or the teeth, of a rake, a saw, a file, a card

  4. Toothnoun

    a projecting member resembling a tenon, but fitting into a mortise that is only sunk, not pierced through

  5. Toothnoun

    one of several steps, or offsets, in a tusk. See Tusk

  6. Toothnoun

    an angular or prominence on any edge; as, a tooth on the scale of a fish, or on a leaf of a plant

  7. Toothnoun

    one of the appendages at the mouth of the capsule of a moss. See Peristome

  8. Toothnoun

    any hard calcareous or chitinous organ found in the mouth of various invertebrates and used in feeding or procuring food; as, the teeth of a mollusk or a starfish

  9. Toothverb

    to furnish with teeth

  10. Toothverb

    to indent; to jag; as, to tooth a saw

  11. Toothverb

    to lock into each other. See Tooth, n., 4

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tooth

    tōōth, n. one of the hard bodies in the mouth, attached to the skeleton, but not forming part of it, developed from the dermis or true skin, their function primarily the mastication of the food: the taste or palate, relish: anything tooth-like: a prong: one of the projections on a saw or wheel:—pl. Teeth.—v.t. to furnish with teeth: to cut into teeth.—ns. Tooth′ache, an ache or pain in a tooth; Tooth′-brush, a brush for cleaning the teeth; Tooth′-draw′er (Shak.), one whose business is to extract teeth with instruments, a dentist; Tooth′-draw′ing, the act of extracting a tooth: the practice of extracting teeth.—adjs. Toothed, having teeth: (bot.) having tooth-like projections on the edge, as a leaf; Tooth′ful, full of teeth.—n. a small drink of spirits, &c.—adj. Tooth′less, having no teeth.—ns. Tooth′-ornament, a Romanesque and Early Pointed moulding, consisting of a square four-leaved flower pointed in the centre; Tooth′pick, an instrument for picking out anything in the teeth; Tooth′-pow′der, a powder used with a tooth-brush for cleaning the teeth.—adj. Tooth′some, pleasant to the taste.—ns. Tooth′someness; Tooth′-wash, a liquid preparation for cleansing the teeth; Tooth′wort, a name for Lathræa squamaria, one of the insectivorous plants, as well as for Dentaria bulbifera, one of the Cruciferæ, common in England, also known as 'coral-wort' and 'tooth-violet.'—adj. Tooth′y, having teeth: toothsome: biting.—Tooth and nail, with all possible vigour and fury.—A sweet tooth, a relish for sweet things; In spite of one's teeth, In the teeth of, in defiance of opposition; Show one's teeth, to threaten, to show one's anger and power to injure; Throw, Cast, in one's teeth, to fling at one, as a taunt, or in challenge; To the teeth (Shak.), in open opposition or defiance. [A.S. tóth (pl. téth, also tóthas); cog. with Goth. tunthus, L. dens, dent-is, Gr. o-dous, o-dont-os, Sans. danta.]

Editors Contribution

  1. tooth

    A number of enamel structures in the mouth of an animal, human or vertebrate that are in the gum and connected to a root canal in the jaw.

    Our teeth are an important part of our jaw and mouth and their functions.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 18, 2016  

Suggested Resources

  1. tooth

    The tooth symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the tooth symbol and its characteristic.


  1. Tooth

    an acute angulation: a short pointed process from an appendage or margin.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tooth' in Nouns Frequency: #862

How to pronounce tooth?

How to say tooth in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tooth in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tooth in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of tooth in a Sentence

  1. Lisa Boothroyd:

    I remember the moment I crunched down on a handful of the ‘sweets’ -- and instantly felt explosions in my mouth, i felt a burning pain straight away. I’m still in agony and nearly lost a tooth after it cracked from the explosion.

  2. Gabrielle Douglas:

    I like to stick with lean protein to help with my muscle recovery after hard workouts, so my grandma prepared me a delicious chicken breast and grilled asparagus with balsamic vinegar, it was so good! To treat myself, I dipped a handful of almonds in 2 ounces of melted dark chocolate. It really satisfied my sweet tooth!

  3. Mike Richards:

    Every person alive today has at some point said or done something that another person finds objectionable, whether they mean to or not, people are being forced to think twice before stepping into the public realm because there will always be a group of people intent on picking through your past with a fine-tooth comb to uncover reasons to attack you.

  4. Har Parkash Rishi:

    I am the world record holder of 496 straws in my mouth ... For that record, I needed space, I had to remove every tooth so that I could put maximum straws in my mouth.

  5. Nathan Hochman:

    As one of the attorneys representing the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys in this lawsuit against LA DA George Gascon, I’m flattered that he felt the need to hire the most expensive law firm in the country to fight us, as a citizen of LA, I’m disgusted that he would waste so much of our money fighting tooth-and-nail against putting dangerous criminals in jail.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tooth

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for tooth »


Find a translation for the tooth definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"tooth." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tooth>.

Discuss these tooth definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for tooth? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    any of a class of organic compounds containing the cyano radical -CN
    • A. whitewash
    • B. leaven
    • C. nitrile
    • D. brasserie

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for tooth: