Topic: HUMAN

Language: Old English
Origin: toth


tooth S2 W2 plural teeth [countable]

in mouth

HBA one of the hard white objects in your mouth that you use to bite and eat food:
Her smile revealed a row of white, even teeth.
Last time I went to the dentist I had to have two teeth out.
I think the baby must be cutting a tooth (=growing one).
The children ran out of the water, teeth chattering.
Carly spoke through clenched teeth (=with her teeth pushed together in anger).
He gritted his teeth (=pushed his teeth together with determination) and pulled on the rope again.
The dog sank its teeth into my leg.
baby tooth

; ➔ canine tooth

at canine2 (1), eye tooth (2), milk tooth, wisdom tooth, buck teeth, false teeth, gap-toothed

on a tool etc

DCB one of the sharp or pointed parts that sticks out from the edge of a comb or saw


have teeth

SCL 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.

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.

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.

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.

set somebody'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 cut1 (23)

➔ by the skin of your teeth

at skin1 (9)

➔ be a kick in the teeth

at kick2 (5)

➔ lie through your teeth

at lie2 (1)

➔ have a sweet tooth

at sweet1 (7)

➔ take the bit between your teeth

at bit2 (9)

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