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 study focuses on a jawbone belonging to a Neanderthal girl, first discovered within Scladina Cave, Belgium, in 1993 and the femur of a male Neanderthal from Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave, Germany, found in 1937. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Bones uncover mysterious early history of the Neanderthals," 26 June 2019 The surgeons who treated Austin Adams in Utah needed to sew his gumline back together, then put plates on the jawbone itself to stabilize it. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Vape pen explodes, shattering teen's jaw amid rising concerns over batteries," 19 June 2019 The discovery of the Xiahe jawbone at a locale over 1,400 miles away from this Siberian cave confirms Denisovans ventured much further across the continent. National Geographic, "Mysterious ancient human found on the ‘roof of the world’," 1 May 2019 His collection of jawbones go back to 1990, an unusually rich trove of scientific data. New York Times, "Hooking the Dinosaur of Fish," 26 May 2018 His team of 15 specialists helped create a nasal passage for Stubblefield, as well as patch her face and form jawbones using her fibula and titanium. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Face transplant gives woman 'second chance' 3 years after suicide attempt," 14 Aug. 2018 These are called articular discs, and as slippery pieces of tissue, they are supposed to prevent your skull and jawbone from grinding against each other, according to Merck Manuals. Korin Miller, SELF, "Uh, Is It a Problem If You Can 'Pop' Your Jaw?," 16 Nov. 2018 To determine how old the bone was, the team sent it to Rainer Grün, a dating specialist at Griffith University in Australia, who had previously helped date a 180,000-year-old jawbone from an Israeli cave. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "A Fossilized Finger Bone May Be From the Earliest Humans on the Arabian Peninsula," 9 Apr. 2018 Two rare problems are tied to bisphosphonates — deterioration of the jawbone and unusual leg fractures. Marilynn Marchione, The Seattle Times, "Study suggests more older women may benefit from bone drugs," 1 Oct. 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

8 Jul 2019

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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 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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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