canine tooth

canine tooth
canine (def. 2).
[1600-10]

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also called  cuspid  or  eye tooth 

      in mammals, any of the single-cusped (pointed), usually single-rooted teeth adapted for tearing food, and occurring behind or beside the incisors (front teeth). Often the largest teeth in the mouth, the canines project beyond the level of the other teeth and may interlock when the mouth is closed, restricting the animal to an up-and-down chewing action. Among sheep, oxen, and deer, only the upper canines are large; the lower ones resemble incisors. Rodents lack canines. The tusks of wild boar, walrus, and the extinct sabre-toothed cat are enlarged canines. In some animals (e.g., pig, deer, baboon, gorilla), the male has much larger canines than does the female; these perform a threatening and protective function besides that of tearing. (The tusks of elephants are upper incisors, not canine teeth. Canine teeth are absent.)

      Humans have small canines that project slightly beyond the level of the other teeth—thus, in humans alone among the primates, rotary chewing action is possible. In humans there are four canines, one in each half of each jaw. The human canine tooth has an oversized root, a remnant of the large canine of the nonhuman primates. This creates a bulge in the upper jaw that supports the corner of the lip.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Canine tooth — Canine Ca*nine , a. [L. caninus, fr. canis dog: cf. F. canin. See {Hound}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the family {Canid[ae]}, or dogs and wolves; having the nature or qualities of a dog; like that or those of a dog. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) Of or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canine tooth — Cuspid redirects here. For the heart valves, see bicuspid valve and tricuspid valve. Canine tooth This dog s longer pointed cuspids or fangs show why they are particularly associated with canines …   Wikipedia

  • canine tooth — noun one of the four pointed conical teeth (two in each jaw) located between the incisors and the premolars • Syn: ↑canine, ↑eyetooth, ↑eye tooth, ↑dogtooth, ↑cuspid • Derivationally related forms: ↑cuspidal (for …   Useful english dictionary

  • canine tooth — the tooth immediately lateral to the lateral, or second, incisor; it has a long conical crown and the longest, most powerful root of all the teeth. Called also canine, cuspid, cuspid t., and dens caninus [TA] …   Medical dictionary

  • canine tooth — sharp pointed tooth located between the front teeth (incisors) and the molars, cuspid tooth, fang …   English contemporary dictionary

  • canine tooth — noun One of the pointed teeth behind the incisors and in front of the premolar teeth. Syn: eye tooth …   Wiktionary

  • canine tooth — noun (C) one of four sharp pointed teeth in the front of the human mouth; eye tooth …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Canine — Ca*nine , a. [L. caninus, fr. canis dog: cf. F. canin. See {Hound}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the family {Canid[ae]}, or dogs and wolves; having the nature or qualities of a dog; like that or those of a dog. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) Of or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canine appetite — Canine Ca*nine , a. [L. caninus, fr. canis dog: cf. F. canin. See {Hound}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the family {Canid[ae]}, or dogs and wolves; having the nature or qualities of a dog; like that or those of a dog. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) Of or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canine letter — Canine Ca*nine , a. [L. caninus, fr. canis dog: cf. F. canin. See {Hound}.] 1. Of or pertaining to the family {Canid[ae]}, or dogs and wolves; having the nature or qualities of a dog; like that or those of a dog. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) Of or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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