AskDefine | Define tusk

Dictionary Definition



1 a hard smooth ivory colored dentine that makes up most of the tusks of elephants and walruses [syn: ivory]
2 a long pointed tooth specialized for fighting or digging; especially in an elephant or walrus or hog


1 stab or pierce with a horn or tusk; "the rhino horned the explorer" [syn: horn]
2 remove the tusks of animals; "tusk an elephant" [syn: detusk]

User Contributed Dictionary



From tux, tusc, cognate with Old Frisian tusk, probably from the Proto-Germanic root tunthskaz, an extended form of the linguistic root of tooth.


  • /ˈtʌsk/, /"tVsk/


  1. One of a pair of elongated pointed teeth that extend outside the mouth of an animal such as walrus, elephant or wild boar.
    Until the CITES sales ban, elephant tusks were the 'backbone' of the legal ivory trade.
  2. A small projection on a (tusk) tenon.


pointed tooth
  • Czech: kel
  • Danish: stødtand
  • Dutch: slagtand
  • Finnish: syöksyhammas
  • French: dent saillante , défense
  • German: Stoßzahn
  • Italian: zanna
  • Japanese: 牙 (きば, kiba)
  • Polish: kieł
  • Russian: клык (walrus', boar's); бивень (elephant's)
  • Spanish: colmillo
  • Telugu: దంతము (daMtamu)


  1. To dig up using a tusk, as boars do.


Old Frisian



Extensive Definition

A tusk is an extremely long incisor tooth of certain mammals that protrudes when the mouth is closed. Tusk-bearing mammals include elephants, warthogs, walruses, and narwhals.
Tusks are used by humans to produce ivory, which is used in artifacts and jewelry, and formerly in other items such as piano keys.
Since most tusk-bearing mammals are endangered (especially the African elephant), the ivory trade is severely restricted by the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It is unknown if or when this restriction will end.

External links

tusk in Bosnian: Kljove
tusk in Catalan: Ullal
tusk in Czech: Kel
tusk in German: Stoßzahn
tusk in Spanish: Colmillo
tusk in Esperanto: Dentego
tusk in French: Défense (dent)
tusk in Croatian: Kljova
tusk in Italian: Zanne
tusk in Hebrew: חט
tusk in Dutch: Slagtand
tusk in Japanese: 牙
tusk in Norwegian: Støttann
tusk in Russian: Бивень
tusk in Slovak: Kel (zub)
tusk in Swedish: Bete (tand)
tusk in Tamil: தந்தம்
tusk in Ukrainian: Бивні

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

baby tooth, bicuspid, bucktooth, canine, crown, cuspid, cutter, deciduous tooth, dent, denticle, denticulation, dentil, dentition, dogtooth, eyetooth, fang, fore tooth, gagtooth, gang tooth, gold tooth, gore, grinder, horn, incisor, milk tooth, molar, peg, permanent tooth, pivot tooth, premolar, scrivello, snag, snaggletooth, tooth, tush, wisdom tooth
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