Looking up at the human jaw.
An example of the jaw is the hinged body part at the bottom of the face used for chewing.
- either of the two bones or bony parts that hold the teeth and frame the mouth in most vertebrates: the mandible (lower jaw) is usually hinged and movable, the maxilla (upper jaw) is usually not
- the lower of these bony parts, or the portion of the face covering it
- any of various analogous biting structures of invertebrates
- the mouth
- either of two mechanical parts that open and close to grip or crush something, as in a monkey wrench or vise
- the narrow entrance of a canyon, valley, strait, etc.
- something grasping or imminent: the jaws of death
- Slang a talk
Origin of jawMiddle English jowe ; from Old French joue, cheek
- a. Either of two bony or cartilaginous structures that in most vertebrates form the framework of the mouth and hold the teeth.b. The mandible or maxilla or the part of the face covering these bones.c. Any of various structures of invertebrates that have an analogous function to vertebrate jaws.
- Either of two opposed hinged parts in a mechanical device.
- jaws The walls of a pass, canyon, or cavern.
- jaws A dangerous situation or confrontation: the jaws of death.
- Slang a. Impudent argument or back talk: Don't give me any jaw.b. A conversation or chat.
intransitive verbjawed, jaw·ing, jaws Slang
- To talk vociferously; jabber.
- To talk; converse.
Origin of jawMiddle English jawe, jowe, perhaps from Old French joue, cheek.
- One of the bones, usually bearing teeth, which form the framework of the mouth.
- The part of the face below the mouth.
- His jaw dropped in amazement.
- (figuratively) Anything resembling the jaw of an animal in form or action; especially plural, the mouth or way of entrance.
- the jaws of a pass; the jaws of darkness; the jaws of death.
- A notch or opening.
- A notched or forked part, adapted for holding an object in place.
- the jaw of a railway-car pedestal.
- One of a pair of opposing parts which are movable towards or from each other, for grasping or crushing anything between them.
- the jaws of a vise; the jaws of a stone-crushing machine.
- (nautical) The inner end of a boom or gaff, hollowed in a half circle so as to move freely on a mast.
- (slang, dated) Impudent or abusive talk.
- (slang) Axle guard.
(third-person singular simple present jaws, present participle jawing, simple past and past participle jawed)
From Middle English jawe, jowe, geowe, alteration of *chawe (in early Modern English chawe, chaw), from Proto-Germanic *kawǭ (compare Middle Dutch kauwe (“fish jaw”), kouwe (“mouth cavity”), dialectal German Käu, Keu (“jaw, donkey jowl”)), gradation-variant of *kewǭ (compare Old English cīan (pl.) ‘gills’, West Frisian kiuw ‘gill’, Dutch kieuw ‘gill’), noun from Proto-Germanic *kewwaną (compare English chew). More at chew. Alteration probably influenced by Middle English jolle, chaul (“jowl”), which it replaced (see jowl).