be long in the tooth

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be long in the tooth

To be old. Animals' teeth, especially those of horses, are thought to be an indicator of age. As animals age, their gums recede, and their teeth look longer. Our poor cat is so long in the tooth that he struggles just walking around the house these days. She's a little long in the tooth to still be working—do you think she'll ever retire?
See also: long, tooth

be long in the tooth

  (humorous)
to be too old
Usage notes: The older a horse is, the longer its teeth are.
I'd have thought she was a bit long in the tooth to be starring as the romantic heroine.
See also: long, tooth