Definition of tooth noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//tuːθ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tuːθ//
    (pl. teeth
    BrE BrE//tiːθ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tiːθ//
    Mouth and teeth
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  1. 1   any of the hard white structures in the mouth used for biting and chewing food I've just had a tooth out at the dentist's. to brush/clean your teeth tooth decay She answered through clenched teeth (= opening her mouth only a little because of anger). The cat sank its teeth into his finger. CollocationsPhysical appearance A person may be described as having:Eyes (bright) blue/​green/(dark/​light) brown/​hazel eyes deep-set/​sunken/​bulging/​protruding eyes small/​beady/​sparkling/​twinkling/(informal) shifty eyes piercing/​penetrating/​steely eyes bloodshot/​watery/​puffy eyes bushy/​thick/​dark/​raised/​arched eyebrows long/​dark/​thick/​curly/​false eyelashes/​lashesFace a flat/​bulbous/​pointed/​sharp/​snub nose a straight/​a hooked/​a Roman/(formal) an aquiline nose full/​thick/​thin/​pouty lips dry/​chapped/​cracked lips flushed/​rosy/​red/​ruddy/​pale cheeks soft/​chubby/​sunken cheeks white/​perfect/​crooked/​protruding teeth a large/​high/​broad/​wide/​sloping forehead a strong/​weak/​pointed/​double chin a long/​full/​bushy/​wispy/​goatee beard a long/​thin/​bushy/​droopy/​handlebar/​pencil moustache/ (especially US English) mustacheHair and skin pale/​fair/​olive/​dark/​tanned skin dry/​oily/​smooth/​rough/​leathery/​wrinkled skin a dark/​pale/​light/​sallow/​ruddy/​olive/​swarthy/​clear complexion deep/​fine/​little/​facial wrinkles blonde/​blond/​fair/(light/​dark) brown/(jet-)black/​auburn/​red/(British English) ginger/​grey hair straight/​curly/​wavy/​frizzy/​spiky hair thick/​thin/​fine/​bushy/​thinning hair dyed/​bleached/​soft/​silky/​dry/​greasy/​shiny hair long/​short/​shoulder-length/​cropped hair a bald/​balding/​shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/​spot a side/​centre/(US English) center (British English) parting/ (North American English) partBody a long/​short/​thick/​slender/(disapproving) scrawny neck broad/​narrow/​sloping/​rounded/​hunched shoulders a bare/​broad/​muscular/​small/​large chest a flat/​swollen/​bulging stomach a small/​tiny/​narrow/​slim/​slender/28-inch waist big/​wide/​narrow/​slim hips a straight/​bent/​arched/​broad/​hairy back thin/​slender/​muscular arms big/​large/​small/​manicured/​calloused/​gloved hands long/​short/​fat/​slender/​delicate/​bony fingers long/​muscular/​hairy/​shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/​spindly legs muscular/​chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighs big/​little/​small/​dainty/​wide/​narrow/​bare feet a good/​a slim/​a slender/​an hourglass figure be of slim/​medium/​average/​large/​athletic/​stocky build see also buck teeth, false teeth, milk tooth, wisdom tooth See related entries: Mouth and teeth
  2. 2a narrow pointed part that sticks out of an object the teeth on a saw The teeth of the cog should fit into these grooves. see also fine-tooth comb
  3. Word OriginOld English tōth (plural tēth), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tand and German Zahn, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin dent-, Greek odont-.Extra examples Alan hissed from behind his clenched teeth. Billy’s first tooth is now through. Does the tooth fairy really exist? He broke off what he was saying, clamping his teeth together. He clashed the spoon against his teeth as he ate. Her smile showed crooked teeth. Her teeth flashed as she smiled. His pipe was firmly clamped between his teeth. I lost three teeth in the fight. I still have one of my baby teeth. I used to be self-conscious of my prominent teeth. Mink have razor-sharp teeth. She answered the phone with a cigarette between her teeth. She answered through clenched teeth. She wore a brace to correct her gappy teeth. Skyscrapers rose like jagged teeth. Sugar rots your teeth. The baby’s crying because he’s cutting a new tooth. The cat came in with a mouse in its teeth. The cat left teeth marks in my arm. The dog bared its teeth at us and growled. The man smiled, revealing perfect white teeth. Their teeth were chattering with cold. a reporter who cut her teeth working in SowetoIdioms having many weapons to show your teeth in an aggressive and threatening way The dog bared its teeth and growled.
    by the skin of your teeth
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    (informal) if you do something by the skin of your teeth, you only just manage to do it He escaped defeat by the skin of his teeth.
    cut your teeth on something
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    to do something that gives you your first experience of a particular type of work She cut her teeth on local radio.
    (of a baby) to grow a new tooth
    an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth)
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    (saying) used to say that you should punish somebody by doing to them what they have done to you or to somebody else They advocate a justice system that works on the principle of an eye for an eye.
    to fight in a very determined way for what you want The residents are fighting tooth and nail to stop the new development.
    get the bit between your teeth
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    (informal) to become very enthusiastic about something that you have started to do so that you are unlikely to stop until you have finished
    get your teeth into something
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    (informal) to put a lot of effort and enthusiasm into something that is difficult enough to keep you interested Choose an essay topic that you can really get your teeth into.
    give your eye teeth for something/to do something
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    (British English, informal) used when you are saying that you want something very much I'd give my eye teeth to own a car like that.
    to feel very angry and upset about something, especially because you cannot get what you want He'll be gnashing his teeth when he hears that we lost the contract. The news caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth. See related entries: Anger
    1. 1to bite your teeth tightly together She gritted her teeth against the pain. ‘Stop it!’ he said through gritted teeth.
    2. 2to be determined to continue to do something in a difficult or unpleasant situation It started to rain harder, but we gritted our teeth and carried on.
    (informal) to like food that contains a lot of sugar (informal) (of an organization, a law, etc.) to be powerful and effective (old-fashioned, British English, informal) used to express anger or surprise Hell’s teeth, I promised I’d be back by two.
      in the teeth of something
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    1. 1despite problems, opposition, etc. The new policy was adopted in the teeth of fierce criticism.
    2. 2in the direction that a strong wind is coming from They crossed the bay in the teeth of a howling gale.
    kick somebody in the teeth
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    to treat somebody badly or fail to give them help when they need it
    (informal) a great disappointment; something that hurts somebody/something emotionally The job losses are a kick in the teeth for the union. (informal) to say something that is not true at all The witness was clearly lying through his teeth.
    the long and (the) short of it
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    used when you are telling somebody the essential facts about something or what effect it will have, without explaining all the details
    involving opposition or competition that is violent and without pity nature, red in tooth and claw
    set somebody’s teeth on edge
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    (of a sound or taste) to make somebody feel physically uncomfortable Just the sound of her voice sets my teeth on edge.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tooth