(redirected from Carnassials)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to Carnassials: carnassial teeth, sectorial teeth, Incisors


Adapted for tearing apart flesh: carnassial teeth.
A tooth adapted for tearing apart flesh, especially one of the last upper premolar or first lower molar teeth in carnivorous mammals.

[From French carnassier, carnivorous, from Provençal, from carnasso, meat in abundance, from carn, flesh, from Latin carō, carn-; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Zoology) zoology of, relating to, or designating the last upper premolar and first lower molar teeth of carnivores, which have sharp edges for tearing flesh
(Zoology) a carnassial tooth
[C19: from French carnassier meat-eating, from Provençal, from carnasso abundance of meat, from carn meat, flesh, from Latin carō]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kɑrˈnæs i əl)

1. (of teeth) adapted for shearing flesh.
2. a carnassial tooth, esp. the last upper premolar or the first lower molar tooth of carnivores.
[1840–50; < French carnassi(er) flesh-eating < Latin carn-]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.carnassial - (of a tooth) adapted for shearing flesh; "the carnassial teeth of carnivores"
sharp - having or made by a thin edge or sharp point; suitable for cutting or piercing; "a sharp knife"; "a pencil with a sharp point"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The immediate approach would be to remove the tooth, but if it is one of those big carnassials or a canine that helps a dog hold or retrieve items, another option would be to leave the tooth and make an appointment with a specialist who could perform a root canal and perhaps place a crown on the tooth, preserving its use.
Our small mouths, weak jaws, lack of claws, carnassials, fangs, talons, etc., confirm this.
The shape changes between the sexes were recorded in the form of canines and carnassials, and significant changes were in the shape of the coronoid process, angular process and masseteric fossa (LM 5, 8, 9).
Finally, Afrocyon differs from Myacyon by the lesser developed carnassials (P4/m1), and the minor size of the parastyle in the P4.
The fact that one is a roundish vegetarian with chisel-like buck teeth for clipping plants and the other is an elongated, shaggy hunter with sharp incisors, stout canine fangs, and those special molar teeth called carnassials designed for shearing the flesh off victims such as marmots isn't always obvious at a distance.
Sharp, pointed teeth such as canines and carnassials (last upper premolar and first lower molar that meet with a scissorslike action) are used for tearing and shearing meat, indicating a carnivore.