\ ˈmȯ How to pronounce maw (audio) \

Definition of maw

1 : the receptacle into which food is taken by swallowing:
a : stomach
b : crop
2a : the throat, gullet, or jaws especially of a voracious animal the gaping maw of the tiger
b : something suggestive of a gaping maw the dark maw of the cave

Examples of maw in a Sentence

the gaping maw of the tiger
Recent Examples on the Web But, when the source of the space debris—a monstrous U.F.O. that sucks humans and horses into its maw and eats them—makes its appearance, O.J. and Emerald are forced to fight it. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Sometimes the detained simply disappear into the maw of the system, never to be found again. Allison Mccann, New York Times, 16 July 2022 Then two hikers wearing headlamps emerged from the cave’s dark maw. Bruce Upholt, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 July 2022 The next chore was squeezing goo from a tube into each dog’s maw. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Mar. 2021 Suddenly, all sounds drop away in the face of that silent maw. Christian Holub,, 16 Mar. 2022 Einstein’s insight led to a new conception of the cosmos, in which space-time could quiver, bend, rip, expand, swirl and even disappear forever into the maw of a black hole, an entity with gravity so strong that not even light could escape it. New York Times, 12 May 2022 He’d been scammed, swindled and sucked into the maw of the money machine that is the below-deck professional basketball world and spit out without so much as a place to live. Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2022 The worms are drawn to anything out on the sand, capable of sensing vibrations from far away, and emerge from underneath their targets, the ground giving way to a gaping maw for anyone unfortunate enough to be in the area. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 12 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of maw

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maw

Middle English, from Old English maga; akin to Old High German mago stomach, Lithuanian makas purse

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The first known use of maw was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Maw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on maw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maw

Nglish: Translation of maw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maw for Arabic Speakers


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