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[ahy-tooth] /ˈaɪˌtuθ/
noun, plural eyeteeth
[ahy-teeth] /ˈaɪˌtiθ/ (Show IPA)
Dentistry. a canine tooth of the upper jaw: so named from its position under the eye.
cut one's eyeteeth,
  1. to gain sophistication or experience; become worldly-wise.
  2. Also, cut one's eyeteeth on. to be initiated or gain one's first experience in (a career, hobby, skill, etc.).
give one's eyeteeth, to give something one considers very precious, usually in exchange for an object or situation one desires:
She would give her eyeteeth for that job.
1570-80; eye + tooth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for give one's eyeteeth


noun (pl) -teeth
either of the two canine teeth in the upper jaw
give one's eyeteeth for, to go to any lengths to achieve or obtain (something) I'd give my eyeteeth for a radio as good as that
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for give one's eyeteeth



also eye tooth, 1570s, so called for its position immediately under or next to the eye.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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give one's eyeteeth in Medicine

eyetooth eye·tooth (ī'tōōth')
A canine tooth of the upper jaw.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for give one's eyeteeth

give one's eyeteeth

verb phrase

(Variations: left ball or left nut may replace eyeteeth) To pay a very high price; sacrifice much; give anything: She said she'd give her eyeteeth for the role/ I'd give my left nut to get into NET/ I'd give my left ball for a case like that (entry form 1905+, variants 1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with give one's eyeteeth
Also, give one's right arm. Go to any lengths to obtain, as in She'd give her eyeteeth for a mink coat, or He'd give his right arm for a new car. These hyperbolic expressions both allude to something precious, the eyeteeth (or canines) being useful for both biting and chewing and the right arm a virtual necessity for the 90 percent of the population who are right-handed. Both date from the first half of the 1900s, when the first replaced give one's eyes, from the mid-1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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