be long in the tooth

(redirected from is long in the tooth)

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Still, if a horse is long in the tooth, it is deemed to be old or past its 'sell by' or 'use by' date and so it becomes nothing more than an ornament adorning the paddock for the amusement of the children perhaps.