jaw·​bone | \ˈjȯ-ˌbōn \

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

But instead of shark teeth, the diver found a jawbone, with a molar still attached. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "7,000-Year-Old Native American ‘Bog Burial’ Found Off the Coast of Florida," 8 Mar. 2018 Using a technique called electron spin resonance, the researchers measured that the jawbone had absorbed 9.46 grays of radiation from the Hiroshima attack. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "A single jawbone has revealed just how much radiation Hiroshima bomb victims absorbed," 2 May 2018 The Lynn couple signed Donnie up for the clinical trial because removing the sarcoma surgically would be nearly impossible, at least without taking a chunk of his jawbone, too. Amy Sutherland, BostonGlobe.com, "An experimental cancer treatment cured this dog. Could it work for people?," 16 May 2018 Rather, Hunter says the leopard in the video is more likely getting excited about its meal, and seems to be pulling out the jawbone and wielding it in a ludic manner. National Geographic, "Leopard Plays With Prey’s Own Bones," 19 June 2018 Unfortunately, the ancient jawbone contained no teeth, which archaeologists could have examined for microscopic wear marks or chemical isotopes that could reveal details about ancient diets. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "30,000-year-old jawbone records tough diet in Pleistocene Southeast Asia," 6 June 2018 In the 1900s scientists had uncovered teeth and jawbones from haramiyids in parts of Eurasia that dated back to the Jurassic and Triassic periods, more than 145 million years ago. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "Big Discovery in a Tiny Mammal-Like Skull Found Under a Dinosaur’s Foot," 23 May 2018 Soffer, who also practices in Clementon, then adhered the front teeth to the adjacent teeth on either side, using a glue-like dental composite to support them until the ligaments could heal and secure the teeth to the jawbone. Tom Avril, Philly.com, "British athlete in Philadelphia: 'if you must have your teeth knocked out, this is the place'," 25 Apr. 2018 But rather than let the world examine the same evidence, the Soviets kept Hitler’s body hidden for decades, until the KGB was finally ordered to destroy the corpse in 1970s, leaving only the shard of skull and jawbone in the Kremlin’s possession. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "Scientists say Hitler died in WWII. Tell that to ‘Adolf Schuttelmayor’ and the Nazi moon base.," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Witness a scene Wednesday at the White House where Trump hosted the entire Republican Senate conference as a way of jawboning them about the health care bill, which appears to be hopelessly stalled. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Donald Trump threatened Dean Heller on health care. Heller was sitting next to him.," 19 July 2017 Mark Muro, at economist at the Brookings Institution who focuses on manufacturing, said the drama in industrial Indianapolis highlights how Trump can't jawbone firms with 140-character swipes. Danielle Paquette, chicagotribune.com, "A company under Trump attack makes a bold move: It repeatedly ignores him," 19 May 2017 But jawboning companies into keeping employees in the U.S. is just a short-term fix that won’t address the long-term forces causing jobs to disappear. Vanityfair.com, VanityFair.com, "How Harvard Business School Helped Turn Steve Bannon into a Monster," 19 Apr. 2017 But jawboning companies into keeping employees in the U.S. is just a short-term fix that won’t address the long-term forces causing jobs to disappear. Duff Mcdonald, The Hive, "How Harvard Business School Helped Turn Steve Bannon into a Monster," 24 Feb. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near jawbone



jaw bit





Statistics for jawbone

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for jawbone

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

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More Definitions for jawbone



English Language Learners Definition of jawbone

: the bone that forms the lower jaw


jaw·​bone | \ˈjȯ-ˌbōn \

Kids Definition of jawbone


jaw·​bone | \ˈjȯ-ˈbōn, -ˌbōn \

Medical Definition of jawbone 

: jaw sense 1 especially : mandible

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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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