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lockjaw Line breaks: lock|jaw
Pronunciation: /ˈlɒkdʒɔː/

Definition of lockjaw in English:


[mass noun]
1(Especially in non-medical 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.
  • Is the likelihood of my coming down with lockjaw or diphtheria high enough to warrant a vaccination?
  • Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is a serious but preventable disease that affects the body's muscles and nerves.
1.1Spasm of the jaw muscles, causing the mouth to remain tightly closed, typically as a symptom of tetanus. The technical medical term is trismus. if your child develops lockjaw or muscle spasms—particularly after sustaining a wound—seek medical attention right away figurative I laughed until I got lockjaw
More example sentences
  • If tetanus attacks the jaw muscles it causes lockjaw.
  • Tetanus often begins with mild spasms in the jaw muscles-also known as lockjaw or trismus.
  • It's a terrible and often fatal disease starting with muscle spasms in the jaw and face, called lockjaw, then spreading.
1.2 [usually as modifier] US informal An accent associated with the upper class of the north-eastern US, 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
  • A hint of Long Island lockjaw crept into her voice, which I knew happened only in times of extreme stress.
  • He was a prominent figure in New York's social scene, with his lockjaw accent, unfailing good humor, and boundless enthusiasm for new experiences.
  • Even though he was raised in working-class 'burbs, he acquired a hint of Main Line lockjaw.



Pronunciation: /ˈlɒkdʒɔːd/
Example sentences
  • Hanks says that his lockjawed accent as a super-rich yuppie in "Bonfire" caused him 'a lot of grief'.
  • She was lock-jawed from laughing too much during the show.
  • He glared into the crowd with a lockjawed expression.

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