Definition of dentition in English:



  • [mass noun] The arrangement or condition of the teeth in a particular species or individual:

    ‘mammals can be reliably identified from a study of their dentition alone’
    • ‘I present a method developed to describe the entire dentition of the Carnivoramorpha and other mammalian meat eaters (Creodonta).’
    • ‘This paper introduces a quantitative method that describes the entire dentition of carnivores, capturing its functional complexity and heterogeneity.’
    • ‘The size of the first upper and first lower molar is the least variable in the permanent dentition of most mammals, a pattern that has been confirmed in canids.’
    • ‘These were impressive-looking beasts easily recognized by their distinctive dentition of intermeshing incisors.’
    • ‘Conodonts have been known for almost as long as there has been paleontology, but their peculiar dentition was all that was known of the group.’
    • ‘Despite their morphological and ecological diversity, all rodents share one characteristic: their dentition is highly specialized for gnawing.’
    • ‘Transmission electron microscopy reveals that the enamel of the lungfish dentition contains no collagen, nor does it stain with picrosirius red.’
    • ‘The chief limitation on the number of fossil species studied was the rarity in museum collections of skulls with complete dentition, especially incisors.’
    • ‘With a mouthful of this murderous fruitlike dentition, tyrannosaurs had a whopping bite, which might have made up for their reduced forelimbs.’
    • ‘The dentition of these animals was quite peculiar, and very different from that of other cynodonts.’
    • ‘The impressions left behind in the underside of the surfboard were more reminiscent of a pinniped's dentition than that of a white shark.’
    • ‘The patient's dentition was normal, and the left mandibular teeth were nontender and immobile.’
    • ‘Because of the tight correlation between dentition and ecology, dental characters can be used effectively to infer aspects of the diet or ecological niche.’
    • ‘Perhaps the strangest dentition is found in the vampire bats, which have enlarged and bladelike incisors and canines, but molars extremely reduced in size and complexity.’
    • ‘Their dentition was rather unspecialized and versatile, suggesting an omnivorous lifestyle.’
    • ‘Features one would expect to see in herbivorous dinosaurs that provide some evidence of diet include dentition.’
    • ‘The development of the tongue and reduced dentition are reminiscent of the nectar feeding bats in the family Phyllostomidae.’
    • ‘The upper dentition, based on socket size, is slightly heterodont, with smaller premaxillary teeth and larger maxillary teeth.’
    • ‘The dentition of the species is highly reduced, with males possessing one or occasionally two pairs of short teeth in the tip of the lower jaw.’
    • ‘The combination of the body proportions and poorly developed dentition suggest that the hatchlings may have required parental care.’
    fang, denticulation
    View synonyms


Late 16th century (denoting the development of teeth): from Latin dentitio(n-), from dentire teethe, from dens, dent- tooth.