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a tooth


From Middle English tooth, from Old English tōþ(tooth), from Proto-Germanic *tanþs(tooth), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃dónts(tooth). Cognate with Scots tuth, tuith(tooth), North Frisian toth, tos(tooth), Dutch tand(tooth), German Zahn(tooth), Danish and Swedish tand(tooth), Norwegian tann(tooth), Icelandic tönn(tooth), Welsh dant(tooth), Latin dēns(tooth), Lithuanian dantìs(tooth), Ancient Greek ὀδούς(odoús)/ὀδών(odṓn, tooth), Armenian ատամ(atam), Persian دندان(dandân), Sanskrit दत्(dát, tooth). Related to tusk.



tooth (plural teeth)

  1. A hard, calcareous structure present in the mouth of many vertebrate animals, generally used for eating.
  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. (botany) A pointed projection from the margin of a leaf.
  5. (animation) The rough surface of some kinds of cel or other films that allow better adhesion of artwork.
  6. (figuratively) taste; palate
    I have a sweet tooth: I love sugary treats.
    • Dryden
      These are not dishes for thy dainty tooth.
  7. (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.


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

  1. To provide or furnish with teeth.
  2. To indent; to jag.
    to tooth a saw
  3. To lock into each other, like gear wheels.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Moxon to this entry?)