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Etymology 1[edit]

bi- +‎ dental


bidental (not comparable)

  1. (zoology) Having only two teeth.
  2. (phonetics) articulated with both the upper and lower teeth.
    • 1993, Fernando Poyatos, Paralanguage: A linguistic and interdisciplinary approach to interactive speech and sounds[1]:
      Finally, a position of almost bidental contact can be a paralinguistic voice qualifier or secondary articulation we should acknowledge as a dentalization, that is, the articulation of vowels and consonants 'through one's teeth', which can make the labial kinesic component of normal articulation be still present and vary from lip rounding or protrusion with close front vowels to horizontal distension with close back vowels.
    • 2002, Fernando Poyatos, Nonverbal Communication Across Disciplines[2]:
      dental percussives, produced by clicking maxillary and mandibular teeth together at different speeds, but typically as a bidental chatter, that is, in a repeated rapid way (as in chattering from cold or fear); with bidental percussives resonating in the oral cavity musical notes can be played up and down the scale in various keys.
    • 2013, Nigel Hewlett, An Introduction to the Science of Phonetics[3]:
      The convention for transcribing bidental fricatives, suggested in the expIPA chart, uses the appropriate glottal fricative symbol with a dental diacritic both above and below the symbol.


bidental (plural bidentals)

  1. (zoology) An organism that has only two teeth, especially a dinosaur of the infraorder Dicynodontia.
    • 1845, The Church of England Magazine[4], volume 18:
      The letter proceeds to state that, besides this monster, there is a great variety of remains of another new order of animals, which Mr. Bain has deginated as bidentals, from their possessing only two teeth, or rather tusks, in the upper jaw, and none whatever in the lower jaw.
    • 1851, Robert Chambers, Vestiges of the natural history of creation[5], page 305:
      That these Bidentals, as Mr. Owen more comprehensively calls them, are amongst the earliest reptiles, has been somewhat rashly assumed.
    • 1978, Eve Palmer, The Companion Guide to South Africa, page 242:
      It was in this area, as well, that he found, among other creatures, his first Dicynodon, one of those famous mammal-like reptiles that he called bidentals because they had only two tusks in the upper jaw and no teeth.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Latin bidental, possibly from bidens.


bidental (plural bidentals)

  1. (historical) In Ancient Rome, a place that had been struck by lightning and consecrated and enclosed.
    • 1835, Charles Horace, The Works of Horace, with explanatory notes[6], page 632:
      The bidental was a place that had been struck with lightning, and afterwards expiated by the erection of an altar and the sacrifice of sheep, hostiis bidentibus; from which last circumstance it took its name.
    • 1914, A. L. Frothingham, “Circular templum and mundus. Was the templum only rectangular?”, in American Journal of Archaeology, volume 18, page 314:
      The peculiar monument called bidental has a decided place in the question of a circular templum. The bidental was the consecrated burial-place of the thunderbolt of Jove on the spot where the bolt was supposed to have buried itself in the ground.
    • 2006, Celia E. Schultz, Religion in Republican Italy[7], page 98:
      The bidental is one of the more problematic structures of the colony and no consensus has yet emerged as to its date.
    • 2009, J.T. Sibley, The Divine Thunderbolt: Missile of the Gods[8], page 116:
      The side was no designated as a puteal (lightning well) or bidental (lightning fork) and sacred (religiosus), never again to be trod on or touched by a mortal human being. The puteal cylinder was placed so that the hole in the ground caused by the lightning strike was inside. The bidental was a pair or cluster of puteals.