long in the tooth

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Possibly from the practice of examining the length of horses’ teeth when estimating their ages: an old horse has long, rectangular incisors, and their occlusion angle is steep. Compare don't look a gift horse in the mouth.


  • (file)
  • (file)


long in the tooth

  1. (idiomatic) Old; aged.
    • 1852, Thackeray, William Makepeace, chapter 2, in The History of Henry Esmond, Esq.:
      His cousin was now of more than middle age. . . . She was lean, and yellow, and long in the tooth.
    • 2004 May 10, Taylor, Chris, “Is Microsoft A Slowpoke?”, in Time[1]:
      So as Microsoft began its 30th year last month, investors wondered whether it's a little long in the tooth.


Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]