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toothless

[tooth-lis] /ˈtuθ lɪs/
adjective
1.
lacking teeth.
2.
without a serrated edge, as a saw.
3.
lacking in force or sharpness; dull; ineffectual:
a toothless argument.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English; see tooth, -less
Related forms
toothlessly, adverb
toothlessness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for toothless
  • toothless mouths that babbled foolish songs of hidden gold.
  • Unfortunately, the guidelines are toothless because the department has yet to find an effective way to police the police.
  • At the time, wildlife groups said the optional program would be toothless.
  • It was toothless and had curved toes the better for perching in trees.
  • He flashed a toothless smile and sauntered on through the mud.
  • District attorneys are not exactly toothless now, but redundancy sharpens their fangs.
  • Perhaps we'll see a wave of neo-colonial taverns staffed by toothless barmaids in mobcaps, ladling drink out of firkins.
  • But if they can't do this, then the mandate is toothless.
  • They are discovering signs of healed wounds, of toothless old hominids who must have been cared for by others.
  • toothless old people, the repositories of information in a preliterate society, could now be fed and live longer.
Word Origin and History for toothless
adj.

late 14c., in literal sense, from tooth + -less. Figurative sense of "dull" is recorded from 1590s; that of "lacking enforcement powers" is first recorded 1961. Related: Toothlessly; toothlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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