early 15c., probably from an unrecorded Old English verb *teþan, from toþ "tooth" (from PIE root *dent- "tooth"). Related: Teethed; teething.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "tooth."
It forms all or part of: al dente; dandelion; dental; dentifrice; dentist; dentition; denture; glyptodon; indent (v.1) "to make notches;" mastodon; orthodontia; periodontal; teethe; tooth; toothsome; tusk; trident.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit danta, Greek odontos (gen.), Latin dens, Lithuanian dantis, Old Irish det, Welsh dent, Old English toð, German Zahn, Gothic tunþus "tooth."
1724, verbal noun from teethe (v.). Teething-ring attested from 1853.
updated on November 13, 2017