Meaning of tooth


Pronunciation: (tth), [key]
— n., pl. v., teeth, toothed tooth•ing
  1. (in most vertebrates) one of the hard bodies or processes usually attached in a row to each jaw, serving for the prehension and mastication of food, as weapons of attack or defense, etc., and in mammals typically composed chiefly of dentin surrounding a sensitive pulp and covered on the crown with enamel.
  2. (in invertebrates) any of various similar or analogous processes occurring in the mouth or alimentary canal, or on a shell.
  3. any projection resembling or suggesting a tooth.
  4. one of the projections of a comb, rake, saw, etc.
    1. any of the uniform projections on a gear or rack by which it drives, or is driven by, a gear, rack, or worm.
    2. any of the uniform projections on a sprocket by which it drives or is driven by a chain.
    1. any small, toothlike marginal lobe.
    2. one of the toothlike divisions of the peristome of mosses.
  5. a sharp, distressing, or destructive attribute or agency.
  6. taste, relish, or liking.
  7. a surface, as on a grinding wheel or sharpening stone, slightly roughened so as to increase friction with another part.
  8. a rough surface created on a paper made for charcoal drawing, watercolor, or the like, or on canvas for oil painting.
  9. barely: He got away by the skin of his teeth.
  10. to reproach someone for (an action): History will ever throw this blunder in his teeth.
  11. to do at the beginning of one's education, career, etc., or in one's youth: The hunter boasted of having cut his teeth on tigers.
  12. in the teeth of the wind.
    1. so as to face or confront; straight into or against:in the teeth of the wind.
    2. in defiance of; in opposition to:She maintained her stand in the teeth of public opinion.
  13. old; elderly.
  14. to establish or increase the effectiveness of: to put teeth into the law.
  15. to become resolute; prepare for difficulty: He set his teeth and separated the combatants.
  16. The noise of the machines sets my teeth on edge.
    1. to induce an unpleasant sensation.
    2. to repel; irritate:The noise of the machines sets my teeth on edge.
  17. to become hostile or threatening; exhibit anger: Usually friendly, she suddenly began to show her teeth.
  18. entirely; fully: armed to the teeth; dressed to the teeth in furs.
  1. to furnish with teeth.
  2. to cut teeth upon.
  1. to interlock, as cogwheels.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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