from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or for the teeth: dental caps.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or intended for dentistry: dental work; dental bills.
  • adj. Linguistics Articulated with the tip of the tongue near or against the upper front teeth: the English dental consonants t and d.
  • n. Linguistics A dental consonant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of or concerning the teeth: dental care
  • adj. of or concerning dentistry
  • adj. made with the tongue touching the teeth: dental fricative

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the teeth or to dentistry.
  • adj. Formed by the aid of the teeth; -- said of certain articulations and the letters representing them.
  • n. An articulation or letter formed by the aid of the teeth.
  • n. A marine mollusk of the genus Dentalium, with a curved conical shell resembling a tooth. See Dentalium.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to the teeth.
  • In grammar, formed or pronounced at or near the front upper teeth, with the tip or front of the tongue: as, d, t, and n are dental letters.
  • Connected with or used in dentistry: as, dental rubber; a dental mallet or hammer.
  • The dental formula of a child over two years of age is thus: which means that the child should have two incisors, one canine, and two molars, on each side of each jaw. … The formula of permanent dentition in man is written: there being two incisors, one canine, two premolars, and three molars on each side above and below.
  • The tissue or structure out of which a tooth is formed, and from which, as in the case of rodents, it may continue to grow for an indefinite period, in which case the teeth are said to have persistent pulps.
  • n. A sound formed by placing the end of the tongue against or near the upper teeth, as d, t, and n (see I., 2).
  • n. In conchology, a tooth-shell; a shell of the family Denlaliidæ.
  • n. Dentex macrophthalmus, a fish of the family Lutianidæ, found in the Mediterranean.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a consonant articulated with the tip of the tongue near the gum ridge
  • adj. of or relating to the teeth
  • adj. of or relating to dentistry


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

New Latin dentālis, from Latin dēns, dent-, tooth; see dent- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin dentālis, from Latin dēns ("tooth"), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁d-ent- (“tooth”), participle of Proto-Indo-European *h₁ed- (“eat”), perhaps from an older sense "bite".


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