Definition of lockjaw in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈläkˌjô/


1(Especially in nonmedical use) tetanus: for hundreds of years the most dreaded diseases were leprosy and lockjaw
More example sentences
  • Symptoms of the infection include muscle rigidity and spasms, particularly of the face and jaw, hence its common name lockjaw.
  • Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is a disease with uncontrolled muscle spasms caused by a bacterium in a local wound.
  • Mrs Wilby said she had previously seen tetanus - often known as lockjaw - in animals.
1.1Spasm of the jaw muscles, causing the mouth to remain tightly closed, typically as a symptom of tetanus: if your child develops lockjaw—particularly after sustaining a wound—seek medical attention right away figurative I laughed until I got lockjaw The technical medical term is trismus.
More example sentences
  • It's a terrible and often fatal disease starting with muscle spasms in the jaw and face, called lockjaw, then spreading.
  • Cephalic tetanus, the least common, causes muscle spasms in the face, leading to a classic case of lockjaw.
  • If tetanus attacks the jaw muscles it causes lockjaw.
1.2 [usually as modifier] US informal An accent associated with the upper class of the northeastern United States, characterized by a supposed lack of movement of the mouth and jaw: he disdained the preppy men with lockjaw accents who populated Nantucket during the summer
More example sentences
  • With his lockjaw voice and nose for journalistic stunts, George was a WASP daredevil.
  • It is hard to imagine two snobbish East Coast intellectuals with lockjaw patrician accents being invited onto prime-time television now to opine on the hot-button issues of the day.
  • He dressed himself in white, popped his collar toward the heavens, picked up a mallet, and announced in his bogus rich boy's lockjaw, "Croquet anyone?"



Pronunciation: /ˈläkˌjôd/
Example sentences
  • Language was beyond me ... I was lockjawed.
  • Gloria Upson is Patrick's snobbish fiancee with a lockjawed seaboard accent.
  • He glared into the crowd with a lockjawed expression.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lock·jaw

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