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[tuhsk] /tʌsk/
(in certain animals) a tooth developed to great length, usually one of a pair, as in the elephant, walrus, and wild boar, but singly in the narwhal.
a long, pointed, or protruding tooth.
a projection resembling the tusk of an animal.
Also called gain. Carpentry. a diagonally cut shoulder at the end of a timber for strengthening a tenon.
verb (used with object)
to dig up or tear off with the tusks.
to gore with a tusk.
verb (used without object)
to dig up or thrust at the ground with the tusks.
Origin of tusk
before 900; Middle English, metathetic variant of tux, Old English, variant of tusc tush2; cognate with Old Frisian tusk; akin to tooth
Related forms
tuskless, adjective
tusklike, adjective
untusked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tuskless
Historical Examples
  • When the tusks get broken—a not uncommon thing—he must remain toothless or “tuskless” for the rest of his life.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • He sat behind his desk like a tuskless sea lion crouched behind a rock, and his cheeks merged into jowls and obliterated his neck.

    Citadel Algirdas Jonas Budrys
  • A cock without spurs has the same name as a tuskless elephant,—makhna.

    Beast and Man in India John Lockwood Kipling
  • We now know the complete series of steps connecting elephants with ordinary trunkless, tuskless mammals.

    More Science From an Easy Chair Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester
British Dictionary definitions for tuskless


a pointed elongated usually paired tooth in the elephant, walrus, and certain other mammals that is often used for fighting
the canine tooth of certain animals, esp horses
a sharp pointed projection
(building trades) Also called tusk tenon. a tenon shaped with an additional oblique shoulder to make a stronger joint
to stab, tear, or gore with the tusks
Derived Forms
tusked, adjective
tusklike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English tūsc; related to Old Frisian tosk; see tooth
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 tuskless



Old English tux, tusc, cognate with Old Frisian tusk, probably from Proto-Germanic *tunthskaz (cf. Gothic tunþus "tooth"), extended form of the root of tooth. But there are no certain cognates outside Anglo-Frisian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tuskless in Science
A long, pointed tooth, usually one of a pair, projecting from the mouth of certain animals, such as elephants, walruses, and wild pigs. Tusks are used for procuring food and as weapons.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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