maw

noun
\ˈmȯ \

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

After a summer stuffing her maw with salmon that were hers and hers alone, Beadnose has the blubber to show for it. Karin Brulliard, The Seattle Times, "America’s fattest bear has now been crowned," 9 Oct. 2018 The whirlpool shrank and then disappeared as the lake level lowered, but not before its ominous brown maw made screens and newspapers all over the world. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Texas Lake Developed a Boat-Swallowing Whirlpool," 3 Sep. 2018 Females bear striking blue orbs that dangle above their heads like neon fishing rods, bright enough to lure prey up to twice their size into their toothy maws. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Why Bioluminescence Evolved to Be Red Light, and Blue," 26 June 2018 With a gaping maw and uneven, jagged teeth, its appearance is the stuff of nightmares. Washington Post, "Ugly delicacy? Industry touts weird looking Monkfish," 1 Mar. 2018 The Alfa badge and its potential meanings of a serpent eating a human or a man being reborn from its maw keep one guessing. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "What's it like to drive a historic Italian roadster? We find out," 8 June 2018 That was just to escape the maw and has nothing to do with the ship being fast in general or about navigating a course in the shortest possible distance. Dan Gvozden, The Hollywood Reporter, "74 'Star Wars' Questions 'Solo' Insisted on Answering," 1 June 2018 Cars, swallowed whole, have sunk into gaping maws as if on a disaster movie set. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "'Sinkhole fiasco' plagues Florida neighborhood, as a dozen holes open in the ground | Miami Herald," 2 May 2018 Height And now, my last piece of good advice: Never make a sandwich whose height exceeds the diameter of your yawning maw. James P. Dewan, chicagotribune.com, "Does your sandwich pass the eatability test?," 18 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about maw

Dictionary Entries near maw

mavish

mavourneen

mavrodaphne

maw

mawali

maw-bound

mawk

Statistics for maw

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maw

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for maw

maw

noun

English Language Learners Definition of maw

: the mouth, jaws, or throat of an animal

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on maw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maw

Spanish Central: Translation of maw

Nglish: Translation of maw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maw for Arabic Speakers

Comments on maw

What made you want to look up maw? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!