the jaws of defeat

noun phrase
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of the jaws of defeat

:the position of being close to losing
  • The team was able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by scoring in the final seconds of the game.

Word by Word Definitions

jaw play jaws
  1. : either of two complex cartilaginous or bony structures in most vertebrates that border the mouth, support the soft parts enclosing it, usually bear teeth on their oral margin, and are an upper that is more or less firmly fused with the skull and a lower that is hinged, movable, and articulated with the temporal bone of either side — compare mandible, maxilla

  2. : the parts constituting the walls of the mouth and serving to open and close it

  3. : any of various organs of invertebrates that perform the function of the vertebrate jaws

  1. : to talk especially abusively, indignantly, or long-windedly

  2. : to talk to in a scolding or boring manner

defeat play
  1. : destroy

  2. : nullify

  3. : frustrate

  1. : frustration by nullification or by prevention of success

  2. : destruction

  3. : an overthrow especially of an army in battle


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!