One of a set of hard, bonelike structures rooted in sockets in the jaws of vertebrates, typically composed of a core of soft pulp surrounded by a layer of hard dentin that is coated with cementum or enamel at the crown and used for biting or chewing food or as a means of attack or defense. A similar structure in invertebrates, such as one of the pointed denticles or ridges on the exoskeleton of an arthropod or the shell of a mollusk. A projecting part resembling a tooth in shape or function, as on a comb, gear, or saw. A small, notched projection along a margin, especially of a leaf. Also called dent2. A rough surface, as of paper or metal. Something that injures or destroys with force. Often used in the plural: the teeth of the blizzard. Effective means of enforcement; muscle: "This . . . puts real teeth into something where there has been only lip service\u201d ( Ellen Convisser). Taste or appetite: She always had a sweet tooth. To furnish (a tool, for example) with teeth. To make a jagged edge on. To become interlocked; mesh. get Slang To be actively involved in; get a firm grasp of. show To express a readiness to fight; threaten defiantly. to the teeth Lacking nothing; completely: armed to the teeth; dressed to the teeth.