- Archaic the stomach or its cavity
- the stomach of an animal; specif., the fourth stomach of a cud-chewing animal
- the throat, gullet, jaws, or oral cavity of a voracious animal
- anything thought of as consuming, devouring, etc. without end
Origin of mawMiddle English mawe ; from Old English maga, akin to German magen, stomach ; from Indo-European base an unverified form mak-, skin, bag from source Welsh megin, bellows
- The mouth, stomach, jaws, or gullet of a voracious animal, especially a carnivore.
- The opening into something felt to be insatiable: “I saw the opening maw of hell” (Herman Melville).
Origin of mawMiddle English mawe, from Old English maga.
From Middle English mawe, from Old English maga (“stomach, maw”), from Proto-Germanic *magô (“belly, stomach”), from Proto-Indo-European *mak-, *maks- (“bag, bellows, belly”). Cognate with West Frisian mage, Low German mage, Dutch maag (“stomach, belly”), German Magen (“stomach”), Danish mave, Swedish mage (“stomach, belly”), and also with Welsh megin (“bellows”), Russian мошна (mošná, “pocket, bag”), Lithuanian mãkas (“purse”).
- (dialect, colloquial) Mother.
By shortening of mother
- A gull.
See mew (“a gull”).