—n. 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.
5. Mach. a. any of the uniform projections on a gear or rack by which it drives, or is driven by, a gear, rack, or worm.
b. any of the uniform projections on a sprocket by which it drives or is driven by a chain.
6. Bot. a. any small, toothlike marginal lobe.
b. one of the toothlike divisions of the peristome of mosses.
7. a sharp, distressing, or destructive attribute or agency.
8. taste, relish, or liking.
9. a surface, as on a grinding wheel or sharpening stone, slightly roughened so as to increase friction with another part.
10. a rough surface created on a paper made for charcoal drawing, watercolor, or the like, or on canvas for oil painting.
11. by the skin of one's teeth, barely: He got away by the skin of his teeth. 12. cast or throw in someone's teeth, to reproach someone for (an action): History will ever throw this blunder in his teeth. 13. cut one's teeth on, 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. 14. in the teeth of, a. so as to face or confront; straight into or against: in the teeth of the wind. b. in defiance of; in opposition to: She maintained her stand in the teeth of public opinion. 15. long in the tooth, old; elderly.
16. put teeth in or into, to establish or increase the effectiveness of: to put teeth into the law. 17. set one's teeth, to become resolute; prepare for difficulty: He set his teeth and separated the combatants. 18. set or put one's teeth on edge, a. to induce an unpleasant sensation.
b. to repel; irritate: The noise of the machines sets my teeth on edge. 19. show one's teeth, to become hostile or threatening; exhibit anger: Usually friendly, she suddenly began to show her teeth. 20. to the teeth, entirely; fully: armed to the teeth; dressed to the teeth in furs.
—v.t. 1. to furnish with teeth.
2. to cut teeth upon.