set teeth on edge

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to set teeth on edge: set one's teeth on edge

set (one's) teeth on edge

1. To greatly irritate or annoy one, especially to the point of affecting one's nerves. Nothing sets my teeth on edge like seeing these cyclists run every red light in town! I don't know what it is about Terry, but there's something about his demeanor that just sets my teeth on edge.
2. To cause one to be upset, nervous, or uncomfortable. Please don't tell me about your surgery, it sets my teeth on edge hearing about medical procedures.
See also: edge, on, set, teeth

set someone's teeth on edge

1. Fig. [for a scraping sound] to irritate someone's nerves. That noise sets my teeth on edge! Tom's teeth were set on edge by the incessant screaming of the children.
2. Fig. [for a person or an idea] to upset someone very much. Her overbearing manner usually sets my teeth on edge. The very thought of doing that set her teeth on edge.
See also: edge, on, set, teeth

set one's teeth on edge, to

To irritate or annoy intensely. This image evokes the intense shuddering feeling that comes from biting on a piece of tinfoil or hearing a fingernail scratch on a chalkboard. It appears in several books of the Bible (Jeremiah 31:29; Ezekiel 18:2) and, graphically, in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 1: “I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn’d, Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree, And that would set my teeth nothing on edge, Nothing so much as mincing poetry.”
See also: on, set, teeth