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[moh-ler] /ˈmoʊ lər/
Also called molar tooth. a tooth having a broad biting surface adapted for grinding, being one of twelve in humans, with three on each side of the upper and lower jaws.
adapted for grinding, as teeth.
pertaining to such teeth.
Origin of molar1
1535-45; < Latin molāris grinder, short for (dēns) molāris grinding (tooth), equivalent to mol(a) millstone + -āris -ar1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for molars
  • They also looked at similar chemistry in a few of the skeletons' molars.
  • Plus he broke the bridge on his molars the first night out while chewing up one of the lollipops he'd brought along for energy.
  • Sauropods did not have robust batteries of molars to chew their food.
  • The team, seen inset surrounding the tusks, also uncovered some of the animal's leg bones and parts of a jaw with molars.
  • The height of the molar crowns increased, as did the number of enamel plates in the molars, and the tooth enamel thinned.
  • Their molars suggested they were five and eight years old when they died.
  • In the first six years, the animals' low-crowned molars wear away rapidly and reveal so-called compensatory shearing blades.
  • They have extremely strong jaws and wide, flat molars to chew tough vegetation such as tree bark and orchid bulbs.
  • In particular, eutherians have fewer molars than metatherians.
  • Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful.
British Dictionary definitions for molars


any of the 12 broad-faced grinding teeth in man
a corresponding tooth in other mammals
of, relating to, or designating any of these teeth
used for or capable of grinding
Word Origin
C16: from Latin molāris for grinding, from mola millstone


(of a physical quantity) per unit amount of substance: molar volume
(not recommended in technical usage) (of a solution) containing one mole of solute per litre of solution
Word Origin
C19: from Latin mōlēs a mass
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 molars



"grinding tooth," mid-14c., from Latin molaris dens "grinding tooth," from mola "millstone," from PIE root *mel- "to rub, grind" (see mill (n.1)). As an adjective in this sense from 1620s. In Old English they were cweornteð "quern-teeth."


in chemistry, "pertaining to one mole," 1902, from mole (4) + -ar.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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molars in Medicine

molar mo·lar1 (mō'lər)

  1. Relating to or being a solution that contains one mole of solute per liter of solution.

  2. Of, relating to, or characterizing the physical properties of a body of matter as a whole, especially the mass of a body, as opposed to the molecular or atomic properties.

  3. Abbr. M Of, relating to, or being a solution whose concentration is expressed as moles of solute per liter of solution.

  4. Containing one mole of a substance.

molar 2
A tooth having a crown with three, four, or five cusps on the grinding surface, a bifid root in the lower jaw, and three conical roots in the upper jaw. In permanent dentition, there are three on either side behind the premolars; in deciduous dentition, there are two on either side behind the canines. adj.

  1. Of or relating to the molars.

  2. Capable of grinding.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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molars in Science
molar 1
  1. Relating to a mole.

  2. Containing one mole of solute per liter of solution.

molar 2
Any of the teeth located toward the back of the jaws, having broad crowns for grinding food. Adult humans have 12 molars.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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molars in Culture
molars [(moh-luhrz)]

The teeth with broad surfaces at the back of the mouth that serve to grind food. Including the wisdom teeth, adults have twelve molars — six on the top and six on the bottom. (Compare incisors and canines.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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