One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A paste or powder for cleaning the teeth.
- ‘They washed their teeth and cleaned them with tooth powders (dentifrices).’
- ‘Some forms of tobacco dentifrice include roasted and powdered tobacco, a paste made of tobacco and molasses, and a rinse of tobacco water (made by passing tobacco smoke through water).’
- ‘Women in the state of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, commonly use mishri (pyrolysed and powdered tobacco), and its initial use is as a dentifrice.’
- ‘Unlocking the tube and squeezing some of the bright-orange dentifrice out, I raised the brush to my mouth and commenced extreme cleaning.’
- ‘Various tobacco products are used as dentifrice in different parts of India.’
Late Middle English: from French, from Latin dentifricium, from dens, dent- ‘tooth’ + fricare ‘to rub’.
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