1
: having the lower jaw dropped especially in an expression of surprise, amazement, etc.
slack-jawed tourists gather on the packed streets of Times Square to witness the spectacle …Dan Snierson et al.
They opened the season by sweeping the Tigers in Detroit, and their long-suffering fans sat slack-jawed, wondering if the Kansas City Royals had finally turned the corner.The New York Times
… left most of the critics slack-jawed with admiration.Marybeth Kerrigan
2
: lacking intelligence or sophistication
… trust me when I say that I am, in fact, a slack-jawed yokel in the Big City who doesn't understand how things work.Tracy Moore
Everyday voters are angry because they perceive a very small number of arrogant, well-connected insiders as profiting from these programs while the rest of us are being played like slack-jawed rubes.The Brandon (Canada) Sun (online)
3
: causing an open-mouthed expression (as of shock or surprise)
I got in a car and drove without pause to Cooperstown to stare in slack-jawed wonder at every mesmerizing display.Steve Rushin

Word History

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of slack-jawed was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near slack-jawed

Cite this Entry

“Slack-jawed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slack-jawed. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

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