tooth


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Related to tooth: toothache, Tooth abscess

an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

Compensation or retribution that is (or should be) of an equal amount or degree to the injury or offense that was originally dealt. The saying comes from various passages in the Old Testament, including in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. I cannot be placated by paltry excuses of reparation! An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; this I demand from all who have wronged me.
See also: eye, tooth

rarer than hens' teeth

Incredibly scarce or rare; extremely difficult or impossible to find. Support for the president is rarer than hens' teeth in this part of the country.
See also: teeth

scarcer than hens' teeth

Incredibly scarce or rare; extremely difficult or impossible to find. Support for the president is scarcer than hens' teeth in this part of the country.
See also: scarcer, teeth

(as) rare as hens' teeth

Incredibly scarce or rare; extremely difficult or impossible to find. Support for the president is as rare as hens' teeth in this part of the country.
See also: rare, teeth

tooth and nail

Furiously or fiercely; with all of one's strength and effort. I know my brother has fought tooth and nail to be re-elected, so his victory tonight is certainly well earned. The elite troops have been placed around the perimeter to defend the palace tooth and nail from rioters.
See also: and, nail, tooth

go at each other tooth and nail

To fight, battle, or compete against each other with great ferocity, vigor, and intensity. The incumbent president and his opponent went at each other tooth and nail in the televised debate last night. The rioters and police have been going at each other tooth and nail all night long.
See also: and, each, nail, other, tooth

go through (something) with a fine-tooth comb

To scrutinize something; to look at something very carefully. We need to go through these files with a fine-tooth comb to find that missing paperwork. Make sure to go through your thesis with a fine-tooth comb before you hand it in—you don't want your advisors wading through proofreading errors, do you?
See also: comb

hen's tooth

Something very scarce (because hens have no teeth). Typically used in phrases like "as scarce as a hen's tooth." I can hardly believe your brother got an A on his final exam—grades like that are as scarce as a hen's tooth for him!
See also: tooth

love-tooth in the head

A constant need or yearning for love. A: "Stacey always seems to have a boyfriend." B: "I know, she really has a love-tooth in the head!"
See also: head

*clean as a hound's tooth

 and *clean as a whistle 
1. Rur. Cliché very clean. (*Also: as ~.) After his mother scrubbed him thoroughly, the baby was as clean as a hound's tooth. The car was as clean as a whistle after the Girl Scouts washed it.
2. Rur. Cliché innocent and free from sin or wrong. (*Also: as ~.) Jane's record was clean as a whistle; she had never committed even the smallest infraction.
See also: clean, tooth

fight someone or something hammer and tongs

 and fight someone or something tooth and nail; go at it hammer and tongs; go at it tooth and nail
Fig. to fight against someone or something energetically and with great determination. They fought against the robber tooth and nail. The dogs were fighting each other hammer and tongs.
See also: and, fight, hammer, tongs

go at one another tooth and nail

Fig. to fight one another like animals. (One another can also be each other.) The man and his wife went at one another tooth and nail. The children would go at one another tooth and nail almost every evening.
See also: and, another, nail, one, tooth

go over something with a fine-tooth comb

 and search something with a fine-tooth comb; go through something with a fine-tooth comb
Fig. to search through something very carefully. I can't find my calculus book. I went over the whole place with a fine-tooth comb. I searched this place with a fine-tooth comb and didn't find my ring.
See also: comb

have a sweet tooth

Fig. to desire to eat many sweet foods-especially candy and pastries. I have a sweet tooth, and if I don't watch it, I'll really get fat. John eats candy all the time. He must have a sweet tooth.
See also: have, sweet, tooth

long in the tooth

Fig. old. That actor is getting a little long in the tooth to play the romantic lead. I may be long in the tooth, but I'm not stupid.
See also: long, tooth

go over something with a fine-tooth comb

also go through something with a fine-tooth comb
to examine every part of something very carefully My accountant is going over my tax return with a fine-tooth comb.
Usage notes: also used in the form fine-toothed comb
See also: comb

fight (somebody/something) tooth and nail

to use a lot of effort to oppose someone or achieve something We fought tooth and nail to keep our share of the business. They vowed to fight the new legislation tooth and nail.
See also: and, fight, nail, tooth

long in the tooth

also long of tooth
to be very old Don't you think she's a bit long in the tooth to be a romantic heroine?
Etymology: based on the idea that teeth grow longer in some animals as they get older
See also: long, tooth

fight tooth and claw/nail

to fight very hard to achieve something (often + to do sth) We fought tooth and nail to retain our share of the business.
See also: and, claw, fight, tooth

with a fine-tooth comb

if you examine something with a fine-tooth comb, you examine every part of it very carefully I'd advise you to examine your insurance policy with a fine-tooth comb to make sure you're covered if you take your car abroad.
See also: comb

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

a sweet tooth

if you have a sweet tooth, you like eating food with sugar in it It's things like chocolate and cake that I can't resist - I've got a real sweet tooth.
See also: sweet, tooth

fight tooth and nail

Engage in vigorous combat or make a strenuous effort, using all one's resources. For example, I'm going to fight tooth and nail for that promotion. This expression, with its allusion to biting and scratching, was first recorded in 1576.
See also: and, fight, nail, tooth

fine-tooth comb

A method of searching or investigating in minute detail, as in He examined the figures with a fine-tooth comb but found no errors. The practice of using a comb with close-set teeth to comb out head lice was transferred to various kinds of investigation in the late 1800s.
See also: comb

long in the tooth

Getting on in years, old, as in Aunt Aggie's a little long in the tooth to be helping us move. This expression alludes to a horse's gums receding with age and making the teeth appear longer. [Mid-1800s]
See also: long, tooth

sweet tooth

A love for sugary foods, as in You can always please Nell with cake or ice cream; she has a big sweet tooth. This expression dates from the late 1300s, although it then referred not only to sweets but other delicacies as well.
See also: sweet, tooth

tooth fairy

A mythical source of bounty, as in So who will finance this venture-the tooth fairy? This expression refers to the fairy credited with leaving money under a child's pillow in place of a baby tooth that has fallen out, a practice popular with American parents since the first half of the 1900s.
See also: fairy, tooth

long in the tooth

Growing old.
See also: long, tooth

clean as a hound's tooth

Completely blemish-free or honest. Another Southern expression; hounds' teeth are apparently cleaner than those of other species. Or perhaps just their canine teeth.
See also: clean, tooth

long in the tooth

Old. Absent conclusive documentation, a horse's age is determined by the size and condition of its teeth, which show specific signs of growth or deterioration over the years. For example, a groove in an upper incisor usually first appears when a horse is ten, moves halfway down the tooth in five years, reaches the end in another five, and then begins to disappear. There are far more flattering ways to refer to someone as being “long in the tooth”—to the extent that any reference to age is flattering—such as the French euphemism “a woman of a certain age.”
See also: long, tooth
References in periodicals archive ?
There's a model for lefties, and the bristle head is about three times larger than standard, making it almost impossible to miss a tooth surface.
This is thought to result from the complete cleavage of a single tooth bud.
The infection and the pus of the primary tooth can spread beyond its roots and damage the structure and eruption path of the developing underlying permanent teeth.
In males and a few females, that tooth grows into the remarkable tusk.
This structure suggests that the narwhal's tooth can sense things in its environment.
If using a resin-based sealant, isolation of the tooth and avoiding contamination of the surface during the procedure is extremely important.
I myself did not lose my first tooth until I was nearly eight years old.
Both the tooth and an associated dentigerous cyst: were removed endoscopically.
Dentists can often smooth a chipped tooth or bond a new surface onto a broken tooth.
This chemical dissolves the roots of the baby tooth above each permanent tooth.
A dark (blackish-bluish) front primary tooth may indicate a change in the vitality of its nerve, usually due to a past history of trauma to the tooth.
But if a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth won't be ready to replace it.
The Real Tooth Fairies created this lively "Brush On a Glowing Smile" song to help motivate every girl to brush her teeth just like her Real Tooth Fairy does.
Dr SmithaTharakan, Dentist Surgeon, KIMS Oman Hospital, shares some vital information on tooth decay and cavities.