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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Highlights include some of her most jaw-dropping and headline-making looks, like the infamous meat dress worn to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Inside Lady Gaga’s New Exhibition, HAUS OF GAGA in Las Vegas," 30 May 2019 Meanwhile, hair stylist Sabana Majeed produced a jaw-dropping, 11-foot braid, which had a gold ring attached to it so that Moore could carry it up the Met steps. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How Indya Moore Prepped for Her Shining Met Gala Moment," 8 May 2019 The fact that Bianca could now sit across from Ainsley, ask about her children, and act as if nothing was wrong was jaw-dropping, really. Lucinda Rosenfeld, Harper's magazine, "First Daughters," 10 Feb. 2019 The base Mac Pro's price is jaw-dropping enough, at $12,000. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Apple's top Mac Pro computer costs more than the average car," 4 June 2019 For the production, Sophia dons a number of jaw-dropping dresses — including one stunning red ensemble that weighs a whopping 25 pounds. Josh Aronson, Teen Vogue, "Beetlejuice: The Musical," 30 May 2019 Reese Witherspoon, who produces the drama and plays one of its central characters, brought her daughter, Ava Phillippe, to the premiere, and their resemblance is wilder than last season's jaw-dropping finale. Glamour, "Reese Witherspoon’s Daughter Is Now Officially Her Twin," 30 May 2019 Chip and Joanna Gaines might be through with Fixer Upper and on their way to bigger things (like, an entire network, for example), but that doesn't mean they're done giving jaw-dropping facelifts to houses around Waco, Texas. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "Chip and Joanna Gaines Just Designed the Dreamiest Home for a ‘Lovely Family’," 18 May 2019 Multi Grammy Award-winner Kacey Musgraves is no stranger to having fun with fashion—her jaw-dropping Grammy and Oscar red carpet looks were case in point. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kacey Musgraves Is a Literal Barbie Doll on the Met Gala Red Carpet," 7 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for jaw

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jaw

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

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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

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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

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