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

With every paragraph, my jaw dropped further and further at the naiveté and denial of reality. Los Angeles Times, "Calendar Feedback: Seeing ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’ in all the wrong ways," 9 Aug. 2019 The leap in the monetary value of women’s art is jaw-dropping on its own, but consider that for the past 50 years men’s and women’s indexes have moved in parallel and the jump is even more noteworthy. Fortune, "The Skyrocketing Value of Women’s Art: The Broadsheet," 2 Aug. 2019 The New York Post reports that Tom and Gi, owners of a jaw-dropping $25 million pad in Tribeca, are house hunting in ultrawealthy enclaves outside the city, including Greenwich, Conn., and Alpine, N.J. Hayley Kaufman, BostonGlobe.com, "Is Tom Brady house hunting in Connecticut and New Jersey?," 1 Aug. 2019 Ever since then, the 51-year-old has donned some jaw-dropping looks, from $26,000 head-to-toe Balmain ensemble to a striking Roberto Cavalli floral pantsuit. Marianna Cerini, CNN Style, "How Celine Dion became the queen of couture week," 4 July 2019 With jaw-dropping hardware and performance specs, Apple has finally created a Mac Pro worthy of the name. Wired Staff, WIRED, "From Cameras to Kayaks, All the Stuff We Loved This Month," 30 June 2019 There are jaw-dropping installations downtown, interactive performance art for kids, and super mellow pop-up concerts along the wilderness trails on the hamlet’s outskirts. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "The six best Colorado art festivals you’re not going to," 28 June 2019 Lizzo, Nomzamo Mbatha, and Khoudia Diop were just a few of the other stars who had jaw-dropping looks and commanded the blue carpet. Nandi Howard, Essence, "The Best Fashion Moments At The BET Awards," 23 June 2019 Pictures below—but warning: Your jaw might literally drop. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wears Stunning One-Shoulder, White Gown to the 2019 BAFTAs," 10 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Diggs and cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who long have had a practice rivalry, were jawing at each other and Thielen came in to calm Diggs.8 Punter Matt Wile looked good, averaging nearly 50 yards on his boots. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Vikings QBs air it out in Saturday night scrimmage; Kyle Sloter insists he’s still in running for backup job," 3 Aug. 2019 And while Dietrich wasn't struck by the pitch and didn't react at the time, the incident set off a lot jawing between players in the innings that followed. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "Can pitcher get arrested for throwing at Reds' batter? Yes, but he probably won't.," 31 July 2019 Rung up in the third inning, Smith jawed at Rehak on his way back to the dugout. Maria Torres, latimes.com, "Jose Suarez’s second start for Angels marred by inconsistent strike zone," 9 June 2019 But publicly, the two men seem to enjoy jawing at each other like a pair of prizefighters. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "Joe Biden Bets on Being the Anti-Trump Candidate," 12 June 2019 By the time Muncy was rounding first, the two were jawing at each other. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Bumgarner gives up Muncy home run and nothing else, Dodgers win," 9 June 2019 Ohio State’s Keyshawn Woods and Houston’s DeJon Jarreau were issued technical fouls after the teams jawed at midcourt. Cliff Brunt, The Seattle Times, "Houston moves into Sweet 16 for first time in 35 years," 25 Mar. 2019 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

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

17 Aug 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

to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!