one of the hard white objects in your mouth that you use to bite and eat food: ➔ baby tooth
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.
; ➔ canine toothat canine2 (1), eye tooth (2), milk tooth, wisdom tooth, buck teeth, false teeth, gap-toothed
one of the sharp or pointed parts that sticks out from the edge of a comb or saw
on a tool etcDCB
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.
to try with a lot of effort or determination to do something:
We fought tooth and nail to get these plans accepted.
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 spite of opposition or danger from something:
Permission for the development was granted in the teeth of opposition from local shopkeepers.
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