mandible

noun
man·​di·​ble | \ˈman-də-bəl \

Definition of mandible 

1a : jaw sense 1a especially : a lower jaw consisting of a single bone or of completely fused bones

b : the lower jaw with its investing soft parts

c : either the upper or lower segment of the bill of a bird

2 : any of various invertebrate mouthparts serving to hold or bite food materials especially : either member of the anterior pair of mouth appendages of an arthropod often forming strong biting jaws

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Other Words from mandible

mandibular \man-​ˈdi-​byə-​lər \ adjective
mandibulate \-​lət \ adjective

Examples of mandible in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Despite its small size, the Niah Cave mandible is very robust, especially at points where chewing muscles attach and at the base of the molars, which means this person did a lot of tough chewing. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "30,000-year-old jawbone records tough diet in Pleistocene Southeast Asia," 6 June 2018 The jawbone is part of an adult mandible, but its height points to a person of short stature and small body size. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "30,000-year-old jawbone records tough diet in Pleistocene Southeast Asia," 6 June 2018 Why does the Falcon have a gap between its front mandibles? Dan Gvozden, The Hollywood Reporter, "74 'Star Wars' Questions 'Solo' Insisted on Answering," 1 June 2018 Others, like the trap-jaw ant, use their mandibles to catapult themselves to safety. National Geographic, "'Exploding Ant' Rips Itself Apart To Protect Its Own," 19 Apr. 2018 But termites, with their strong, sharp mandibles, aren’t easy prey, and raiders often get limbs bitten off in the fight. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "In wars with termites, ants rescue and care for their wounded," 14 Feb. 2018 Some were solid and compact, which was not particularly unusual; previous research has shown that this structure was typical of early moths and butterflies, which used mandibles to chomp their food. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Oldest Known Butterflies Existed Before Flowers," 11 Jan. 2018 Two species of Myrmoteras trap-jaw ant use a special set of joints and muscles to spring-load their massive mandibles before releasing them to slam shut on prey, according to a new study. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "Watch 'Monster' Ants Attack Faster Than the Blink of an Eye," 30 Aug. 2017 The nematodes have even been used to save Florida oranges from demise at the hungry mandibles of the citrus root weevil. Kyle Frischkorn, Smithsonian, "Meet the Supervillain Worm That Gets By With a Little Help From Its Friends," 25 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mandible.' 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 mandible

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for mandible

Middle English, from Late Latin mandibula, from Latin mandere to chew; probably akin to Greek masasthai to chew

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Statistics for mandible

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for mandible

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

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More Definitions for mandible

mandible

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mandible

: either the upper or lower part of a bird's beak

: a part of an insect's mouth that looks like a jaw and is often used for biting things

mandible

noun
man·​di·​ble | \ˈman-də-bəl \

Kids Definition of mandible

1 : a lower jaw often with its soft parts

2 : either the upper or lower part of the bill of a bird

3 : either of a pair of mouth parts of some invertebrates (as an insect) that are usually used for biting

mandible

noun
man·​di·​ble | \ˈman-də-bəl \

Medical Definition of mandible 

1a : jaw sense 1 especially : jaw sense 1b

b : the lower jaw with its investing soft parts

2 : any of various invertebrate mouthparts serving to hold or bite food materials especially : either member of the anterior pair of mouth appendages of an arthropod often forming strong biting jaws

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More from Merriam-Webster on mandible

Spanish Central: Translation of mandible

Nglish: Translation of mandible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mandible

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