Definition of vagina dentata in US English:

vagina dentata


  • The motif of a vagina with teeth, occurring in folklore and fantasy and said to symbolize male fears of the dangers of sexual intercourse, especially of castration.

    • ‘For her toothy mouth shamelessly crystallizes the archaic fantasy of the vagina dentata.’
    • ‘A dramatic representation of a vagina dentata, it foiled the relative modesty of the other garments, and suggested that women's fashion might also perpetuate the stereotype of the femme fatale.’
    • ‘The mythic vagina dentata injures its prey; and predator animals ‘bleed’ from the mouth, sometimes with humans' blood.’
    • ‘I'm not feeling Freudian enough to dwell on the symbolism, but that tunnel with teeth screams vagina dentata.’
    • ‘As if to suggest a vagina dentata, golden teeth float about its orificelike head.’


Early 20th century: dentata, feminine of Latin dentatus ‘having teeth’.


vagina dentata

/vəˌjīnə denˈtädə/