Either of two bones that frame the mouth: a movable lower jaw (mandible) and a fixed upper jaw (maxilla). These hold the teeth (see tooth) and are used for biting and chewing and in speech. Vertical portions at the back of the lower jaw form hinge joints at the temples. The front of its arch thickens to form the chin. The upper jaw is attached to bones at the bridge of the nose, in the eye sockets and roof of the mouth, and the cheekbones. It contains the large maxillary sinus.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on jaw, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up jaw? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.