One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tooth with a single cusp or point; a canine tooth.
- ‘Incisors cut food, and cuspid and bicuspid teeth grasp and tear food.’
- ‘The margin of the talonid is surrounded by a series of cusps (‘cuspids,’ actually, since this is a lower jaw molar) which enclose a talonid basin.’
- ‘Posterolingually there is a deep narrow fold, which disappears in the advanced wear stage, leaving a narrow paraconid and a broad posterior cuspid that occupies two-thirds of the premolar length.’
- ‘The posterior cuspid (or cuspids if there are six) accounts for about one-third of the length of the tooth.’
- ‘He looks a tad constipated to me, that or he has just emitted built-up gas and is clenching his carpentered cuspids in embarrassment.’
Mid 18th century: from Latin cuspis, cuspid- ‘point or apex’.
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