Definition of mandible
1a : jaw 1a; especially : a lower jaw consisting of a single bone or of completely fused bonesb : the lower jaw with its investing soft partsc : 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
mandibularplay \man-ˈdi-byə-lər\ adjective
mandibulateplay \-lət\ adjective
Recent Examples of mandible from the Web
Elina Svitolina—who’s already won four titles year—stole victory from the mandible of defeat, beating Petra Martic after being down 2-5, 0-30 in the third set.
After Lavin complained of pain in his jaw, X-rays showed there was a hole in his mandible.
In the tunnels and on the dusty earth, termites fell by the score and warrior ants lost limbs and perished under the pincer shear of terrible mandibles.
Wood, then a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, was in South America to study trap-jaw spiders, so named for their habit of sneaking up behind prey and rapidly snapping their mandibles shut.
While Janzen can’t say if the jewel’s goo is toxic or not, the stuff can gum up the mandibles of something like an attacking ant.
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.
Origin and Etymology of mandible
Middle English, from Late Latin mandibula, from Latin mandere to chew; probably akin to Greek masasthai to chew
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
MANDIBLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mandible for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of mandible for Students
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
Medical Definition of mandible
Seen and Heard
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