jaw

noun
\ ˈjȯ How to pronounce jaw (audio) \

Definition of jaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : either of two complex cartilaginous or bony structures in most vertebrates that border the mouth, support the soft parts enclosing it, usually bear teeth on their oral margin, and are an upper that is more or less firmly fused with the skull and a lower that is hinged, movable, and articulated with the temporal bone of either side — compare mandible, maxilla
b : the parts constituting the walls of the mouth and serving to open and close it usually used in plural
c : any of various organs of invertebrates that perform the function of the vertebrate jaws
2 : something resembling the jaw of an animal: such as
a : either of two or more opposable parts that open and close for holding or crushing something between them
b : one of the sides of a narrow pass or channel
3a : a space lying between or as if between open jaws escaped from out of the jaws of the whale
b : a position or situation in which one is threatened rode into the jaws of danger
4 : a friendly chat

jaw

verb
jawed; jawing; jaws

Definition of jaw (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to talk especially abusively, indignantly, or long-windedly jawing with the referee

transitive verb

: to talk to in a scolding or boring manner

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from jaw

Noun

jawless \ ˈjȯ-​ləs How to pronounce jawless (audio) \ adjective
jawless vertebrates

Examples of jaw in a Sentence

Noun

He broke his upper jaw. the jaws of a tiger the jaws of a vise

Verb

The coach was jawing with the referee. She was on the phone jawing with her sister all night.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At 51-years-old actress and her golden statue-worthy outfit, proved that this A-lister will continue to deliver jaw-dropping looks for many more awards shows to come. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Julia Roberts Was a Pretty Woman—in Pink!—at the Oscars," 25 Feb. 2019 The lesson was led by Lewis Miller, whose Instagram is filled with jaw-dropping flower arrangements. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Donated Flowers from Her Baby Shower to Charity & the Photos Are Stunning," 23 Feb. 2019 Aerialists, as performers are called, combine grace and flexibility with serious core and upper-body strength to pull off jaw-dropping moves. Susie Armitage, SELF, "This Is How an Aerial Performer Restarted Her Career After Having Both Feet Amputated," 23 Jan. 2019 Now try to drop your shoulders, relax your jaw and your forehead. Casey Gueren, SELF, "We Asked Therapists How to Feel a Little Bit Better This Week. Here are Their Self-Care Tips," 3 Oct. 2018 To clear your mind, the book suggests you first relax the muscles in your face, including your tongue, jaw, and the muscles around your eyes. Erica Sweeney, Teen Vogue, "Sleeping Technique, Reportedly Used by the Military, Can Help You Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes," 4 Sep. 2018 Their strong jaws and sharp canines that grow up to 20 inches are their weapons, and have been known to chomp through boats, crocodiles, and other animals. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Tourist Killed by Hippo Near Kenya's Lake Naivasha," 13 Aug. 2018 Symptoms could also appear in your left arm, jaw, and even your back, Dr. Jhalani says. Amy Capetta, Redbook, "6 Subtle Signs of a Heart Attack in Women," 25 July 2018 But both still followed the evolutionary trend of generally decreasing tooth size: The size of our jaw and teeth have slowly been shrinking over millions of years. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How Ancient Teeth Reveal The Roots of Humankind," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The game nearly over, James jawed with both Curry and Klay Thompson , then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact. Janie Mccauley, courant.com, "Warriors Withstand James' 51 Points To Win NBA Finals Game 1," 1 June 2018 Giants right-hander Hunter Strickland jawed at Brinson on his way out of the game. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Dan Straily drops appeal to begin suspension; Don Mattingly serving one-game ban Tuesday," 26 June 2018 Things remained heated after the loose ball, with a hard foul at the other end leading to players from both teams jawing and shoving one another. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "Heat's Justise Winslow gets stitches above eye, returns to Game 4 vs. 76ers," 21 Apr. 2018 Valbuena flung his bat in protest of the call, jawing with home plate umpire Chris Conroy, who showed remarkable restraint to not eject him while the Angels lineup turned over. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Justin Verlander reaches historic milestone in shutout win over Angels," 17 May 2018 In the Warriors’ 125-115 victory over New Orleans on Dec. 4, 2017, Durant and Cousins both received ejections with 1:14 left in the fourth quarter after jawing at each other. Mark Medina, sacbee, "‘Y’all going to get along?’ Warriors’ Bell has flashback to Durant-Cousins scuffle," 4 July 2018 The game nearly over, James jawed with both Curry and Klay Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact. Janie Mccauley, Houston Chronicle, "Warriors withstand LeBron James' 51 points to win Game 1 of NBA Finals," 31 May 2018 The game nearly over, James jawed with both Curry and Klay Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact. Janie Mccauley, Houston Chronicle, "Warriors withstand LeBron James' 51 points to win Game 1 of NBA Finals," 31 May 2018 The junior pitcher stared and jawed before flipping the ball to first baseman Jake McKenzie for the third out. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas drops first game in Super Regional," 9 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jaw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of jaw

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1748, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for jaw

Noun

Middle English

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jaw

Statistics for jaw

Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jaw

The first known use of jaw was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for jaw

jaw

noun

English Language Learners Definition of jaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: either one of the two bones of the face where teeth grow
: the lower part of a person's face
: two parts of a machine or tool that open and close to hold or crush something

jaw

verb

English Language Learners Definition of jaw (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : to talk in an angry way or for a very long time

jaw

noun
\ ˈjȯ How to pronounce jaw (audio) \

Kids Definition of jaw

1 : either of an upper or lower bony structure that supports the soft parts of the mouth and usually bears teeth on its edge and of which the lower part is movable
2 : a part of an invertebrate animal (as an insect) that resembles or does the work of a human jaw
3 : one of a pair of moving parts that open and close for holding or crushing something Tighten the jaws of the vise.

jaw

noun
\ ˈjȯ How to pronounce jaw (audio) \

Medical Definition of jaw

1 : either of two complex cartilaginous or bony structures in most vertebrates that border the mouth, support the soft parts enclosing it, and usually bear teeth on their oral margin:
a : an upper structure more or less firmly fused with the skull

called also upper jaw, maxilla

b : a lower structure that consists of a single bone or of completely fused bones and that is hinged, movable, and articulated by a pair of condyles with the temporal bone of either side

called also inferior maxillary bone, lower jaw, mandible

2 : the parts constituting the walls of the mouth and serving to open and close it usually used in plural
3 : any of various organs of invertebrates that perform the function of the vertebrate jaws

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on jaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jaw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jaw

Spanish Central: Translation of jaw

Nglish: Translation of jaw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jaw for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jaw

Comments on jaw

What made you want to look up jaw? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!