long in the tooth
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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.
- (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:
- So as Microsoft began its 30th year last month, investors wondered whether it's a little long in the tooth.