long in the tooth

long in the tooth


  • To get too old for something.
  • Although originally meant as a negative comment about age, in the present day the idiom is used as a flattery for age too but of course very rarely.

Example Sentences

  1. He is too long in the tooth to be working with 18 year old paired opposite him in movies.
  2. They could go to the museum since they are too long in the teeth to go to a discotheque.
  3. My grandfather always said that he may be long in the teeth but is has more knowledge about the business than we do. He was very right.
  4. Although long in the tooth now, my granny has some fascinating stories to tell us.
  5. I do not believe Uncle Sid will be able to help with carrying such heavy luggage. He is too long in the tooth to be doing such laborious tasks now.

Also written as long of tooth. This phrase has been coined basis the idea that the teeth of some animals grow longer as they age. This is because of the receding gum lines. In the middle of the 18th century, horses were judged for their age depending upon how long their teeth were and their condition.

L 2 Thoughts

2 Thoughts

This is very helpful to 5th graders

- Angela April 9, 2018

This is helpful for student at all kinds of schools like high school.

- Jony March 6, 2018

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