Meaning of TOOTH in English


tooth S2 W2 /tuːθ/ BrE AmE noun ( plural teeth /tiːθ/) [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: toth ]

1 . IN MOUTH one of the hard white objects in your mouth that you use to bite and eat food:

Sugar is bad for your teeth.

⇨ ↑ baby tooth , ⇨ canine tooth at ↑ canine 2 (1), ⇨ ↑ eye tooth (2), ↑ milk tooth , ↑ wisdom tooth , ↑ buck teeth , ↑ false teeth , ↑ gap-toothed

2 . ON A TOOL ETC one of the sharp or pointed parts that sticks out from the edge of a comb or ↑ saw

3 . POWER have teeth if a law or an organization has teeth, it has the power to force people to obey it:

We need an Environment Agency that really has teeth.

4 . fight tooth and nail to try with a lot of effort or determination to do something:

We fought tooth and nail to get these plans accepted.

5 . get your teeth into something informal to start to do something with a lot of energy and determination:

I can’t wait to get my teeth into the new course.

6 . in the teeth of something in spite of opposition or danger from something:

Permission for the development was granted in the teeth of opposition from local shopkeepers.

7 . set sb’s teeth on edge if a sound or taste sets your teeth on edge, it gives you an uncomfortable feeling in your mouth:

a horrible scraping sound that set my teeth on edge

⇨ armed to the teeth at ↑ armed (1), ⇨ cut your teeth on something at ↑ cut 1 (23), ⇨ by the skin of your teeth at ↑ skin 1 (9), ⇨ be a kick in the teeth at ↑ kick 2 (5), ⇨ lie through your teeth at ↑ lie 2 (1), ⇨ have a sweet tooth at ↑ sweet 1 (7), ⇨ take the bit between your teeth at ↑ bit 2 (9)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ brush your teeth ( also clean your teeth British English )

I brush my teeth twice a day.

▪ floss your teeth (=clean between your teeth using dental floss)

My dentist said I should floss my teeth more.

▪ have a tooth out British English , have a tooth pulled American English (=have a tooth removed)

He's gone to the dentist to have a tooth out.

▪ lose a tooth (=no longer have it)

Many of the men had lost all their teeth by the age of 40.

▪ extract a tooth (=take it out)

The dentist announced that she would have to extract two teeth.

▪ bare your teeth (=show them, especially in an angry or threatening way)

The dog bared its teeth and snarled.

▪ grit/clench your teeth (=put them firmly together)

He was gritting his teeth against the pain.

▪ grind your teeth ( also gnash your teeth literary ) (=move them against each other because you are angry)

Kate ground her teeth in helpless rage.

▪ sink your teeth into something (=put your teeth into someone's flesh, into food etc)

The dog sank its teeth into the boy's hand.

▪ somebody's teeth chatter (=hit together quickly because someone is cold or afraid)

My teeth began to chatter, and I regretted leaving my jacket behind.

▪ be cutting a tooth (=have one of your first teeth growing)

Poor little Patrick was cutting another tooth and we had hardly had any sleep.

■ adjectives

▪ somebody's front/back teeth

Some of his front teeth were missing.

▪ white/yellow

His teeth were white and even.

▪ sharp

The fish has small but very sharp teeth.

▪ good/perfect

She smiled, showing a mouthful of perfect teeth.

▪ bad/rotten

She felt ashamed of her bad teeth and rarely smiled.

▪ even (=all of the same height )

His teeth were white and even.

▪ crooked

He grinned at me, showing rotten, crooked teeth.

▪ loose

I had a loose tooth.

■ tooth + noun

▪ tooth decay

Brushing regularly helps prevent tooth decay.


► Do not say ' wash your teeth '. Say brush your teeth or clean your teeth .

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.