Dentifrice is a fancy word for the stuff you put on your toothbrush to clean your teeth — in other words, dentifrice is toothpaste.

In the 15th century, the equivalent word was dentifricie, and it meant "substance used for cleaning the teeth," from the Latin dentifricium, "powder for rubbing the teeth." The roots are dentis, "tooth," and fricare, "to rub," and that describes exactly how to use dentifrice. Your preferred form of dentifrice may be mint-flavored toothpaste, but many people use tooth powder instead, on a finger or a toothbrush.

Definitions of dentifrice

n a substance for cleaning the teeth; applied with a toothbrush

a dentifrice in the form of a paste
tooth powder, toothpowder
a dentifrice in the form of a powder
Type of:
cleaner, cleanser, cleansing agent
a preparation used in cleaning something

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.