jaw·​bone | \ ˈjȯ-ˌbōn How to pronounce jawbone (audio) \

Definition of jawbone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: jaw sense 1a especially : mandible


jawboned; jawboning; jawbones

Definition of jawbone (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to speak forcefully and persuasively to jawboned them into accepting the deal

intransitive verb

: to talk especially forcefully and persuasively jawboning about the tax cuts

Examples of jawbone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The reconstructed face was notably wider than that of a modern human or Neanderthal, and the arch of teeth along the jawbone was longer. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Ancient DNA puts a face on the mysterious Denisovans, extinct cousins of Neanderthals," 19 Sep. 2019 The 160,000-year-old jawbone was found high on the Tibetan Plateau and identified as Denisovan through the analysis of proteins preserved in the teeth. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "Scientists Recreate the Face of a Denisovan Using DNA," 20 Sep. 2019 The previously recovered bone fragments include a pinky bone, teeth and a jawbone. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "This is what mysterious ancient humans might have looked like," 19 Sep. 2019 The previously recovered bone fragments include a pinky bone, teeth and a jawbone. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This is what mysterious ancient humans might have looked like," 19 Sep. 2019 BASTROP -- Authorities identified a jawbone found near the Colorado River near Bastrop as belonging to a 26-year-old missing Houston man, Johnathan Lee Hamilton. Susan Carroll, Houston Chronicle, "Bones of missing Houston man found in Bastrop," 24 Aug. 2019 Earlier this year, for instance, scientists reported the jawbone of a Denisovan—an extinct hominin species—that was discovered in a cave some 10,700 feet above sea level in China. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Uncover Evidence of an Ancient High-Altitude Human Dwelling," 10 Aug. 2019 In the Bible, David fought the Philistine giant Goliath in a duel, and Samson slew a thousand of their warriors with the jawbone of an ass. Washington Post, "Scholars say Philistine genes help solve biblical mystery," 3 July 2019 But recently, fossil evidence has indicated otherwise: A human jawbone in Israel, reported last year to date back to 180,000 years ago, and a skull fragment in Greece that’s even older, indicate earlier human migrations. Quanta Magazine, "Fossil DNA Reveals New Twists in Modern Human Origins," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Former mayor Tom Menino tried to jawbone Partners HealthCare into consolidating its offices there at one point. BostonGlobe.com, "City looks to restart search to develop long-vacant Roxbury site - The Boston Globe," 19 Oct. 2019 His top five tweets: Economy Whether jawboning the Federal Reserve or touting the latest economic number, many of his tweets have touched on the nation's financial state. USA Today, "Telling numbers from President Trump's first 1,000 days," 17 Oct. 2019 These were powerful, articulate men who, one would imagine, didn’t mind taking the occasional long meeting, or jawboning on the phone. Tom Gliatto, EW.com, "Lyndon Johnson gets another term on Broadway, with Brian Cox in The Great Society," 2 Oct. 2019 President Donald Trump boasts of jawboning bosses on where to build factories. The Economist, "What companies are for," 22 Aug. 2019 Trump has been jawboning the Fed to cut rates for months, aiming a barrage of tweets and comments at the central bank. Matt Phillips, BostonGlobe.com, "Fed Chair Powell Signals Openness to Rate Cut, and Stock Market Rallies," 10 July 2019 If the end game is really the president, as some people in the White House are saying, is just jawboning the allies to pony up more, great. Fox News, "The politics of Trump's tough love for NATO," 12 July 2018 What Congress can do is work with the administration to try to jawbone them into relieving these tariffs, said Sensenbrenner. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Businessman says Trump tariffs will lead to cutbacks at Menomonee Falls firm. Sensenbrenner said Congress doesn't have the vote to stop him.," 10 July 2018 Since the 1970s oil prices have, in at least the short run, been susceptible to jawboning from producers and, to a lesser extent, the White House. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Oil’s Twitter War May End Badly for Trump," 5 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of jawbone


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1965, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for jawbone

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The first known use of jawbone was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Jawbone.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jawbone. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for jawbone


How to pronounce jawbone (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jawbone

: the bone that forms the lower jaw


jaw·​bone | \ ˈjȯ-ˌbōn How to pronounce jawbone (audio) \

Kids Definition of jawbone


jaw·​bone | \ ˈjȯ-ˈbōn, -ˌbōn How to pronounce jawbone (audio) \

Medical Definition of jawbone

: jaw sense 1 especially : mandible

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More from Merriam-Webster on jawbone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jawbone

Spanish Central: Translation of jawbone

Nglish: Translation of jawbone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jawbone for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jawbone

Comments on jawbone

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

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