Definition of jaw in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /jô/


1Each of the upper and lower bony structures in vertebrates forming the framework of the mouth and containing the teeth.
Example sentences
  • In others, the way the upper and lower jaws meet can cause teeth to look unsightly and lead to an incorrect bite. Orthodontic treatment may be able to correct this.
  • Full dentures are needed when there are no teeth left in the upper or lower jaw.
  • Ruminants also lack incisors in the upper jaw, and most lack canines in the upper jaw as well.
1.1The lower movable bone of the jaw, or the part of the face containing it: she suffered a broken jaw
More example sentences
  • The 28-year-old victim suffered a broken jaw and black eyes, among other injuries.
  • But the world featherweight champion knows how to control that anger, how to focus the energy of his rage on the point of an opponent's jaw.
  • The implant material, made of highly biocompatible titanium, is inserted into the bone of the jaw.
1.2 (jaws) The mouth with its bones and teeth.
Example sentences
  • The dragon caught up with and snapped his jaws shut, trapping Xio inside.
  • It was not until the autofocus hit the mark that I noted the jaws of the scorpionfish trapping the poor butterfish.
  • For one thing, the average WAFR is around the same size as a Labrador, with front teeth some four inches long, and jaws capable of crushing human bone.
1.3 (jaws) The grasping, biting, or crushing mouthparts of an invertebrate.
Example sentences
  • Scolecodonts are the isolated jaws of polychaete annelid worms.
  • Whereas arms and legs have more muscles than segments, the jaws and tongues of anurans are composed of relatively few muscles.
  • The buccal mass of cephalopods includes a pair of jaws termed beaks that are used to masticate prey.
1.4 (jaws) Used to suggest the notion of being in danger from something such as death or defeat: victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat
More example sentences
  • This adds up to more than 500 million people, who have been saved from the jaws of oppression and dominance.
  • Keighley Town grasped victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to a brilliant last minute individual try from Man of the Match Neil Kennedy.
  • To our great relief, due to the joint efforts of six doctors who stayed with them in the intensive care unit for a couple of hours, they were ultimately snatched from the jaws of death.
1.5 (usually jaws) The gripping parts of a tool or machine, such as a wrench or vise.
Example sentences
  • Cover the jaws of wrenches or vices with electrician's tape.
  • Finally, the bucking pipe is gripped by the mechanical jaws of a massive clamp.
  • Make sure the jaws of the wrench or pliers are snug in position before you manipulate the handle, to avoid slippage or scraped knuckles.
1.6 (jaws) An opening likened to a mouth: a passenger stepping from the jaws of a ferry
More example sentences
  • Then we continued on our way, going deeper and deeper into the open jaws of the cave.
  • From the jaws of the ferry in Tårs you are quickly led away from the cars and out through Sandby.
  • The steel jaws of the traps, which will catch any animal or person walking in the bush, are ostensibly for use against jackals but are often used by poachers to trap game.
1.7 informal Talk or gossip, especially when lengthy or tedious: committee work is just endless jaw we ought to have a jaw


[no object] informal
Talk at length; chatter: he could still hear men jawing away about the vacuum cleaners
More example sentences
  • Most evenings as I'm coming home from work, Steve is out in front of the store, jawing with anyone who'll give him a minute of his or her time, cussing up a storm, flirting with all the women, and exhorting everyone to go in and buy stuff.
  • I sit here jawing while Pavel enriches the world through his generous work.
  • Chesterton once observed that it was always perilous to talk politics with women because of the imminent danger that they would want to do something about it and not just go on jawing as men do.



[in combination]: square-jawed young men


Example sentences
  • The hagfish, together with lampreys, are living representatives of the jawless vertebrates (class Agnatha) and are considered to be the most evolutionarily ancient vertebrates.
  • Most jawless species went extinct long ago and are known only from the fossil record.
  • In traditional classifications, the hagfish, lampreys, and extinct armored jawless fish are grouped together in the paraphyletic Class Agnatha.


Late Middle English: from Old French joe 'cheek, jaw', of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with jaw

abhor, adore, afore, anymore, ashore, awe, bandore, Bangalore, before, boar, Boer, bore, caw, chore, claw, cocksure, comprador, cor, core, corps, craw, Delors, deplore, door, draw, drawer, evermore, explore, flaw, floor, for, forbore, fore, foresaw, forevermore, forswore, four, fourscore, furthermore, Gábor, galore, gnaw, gore, grantor, guarantor, guffaw, hard-core, Haugh, haw, hoar, ignore, implore, Indore, interwar, Johor, Lahore, law, lessor, lor, lore, macaw, man-o'-war, maw, mirador, mor, more, mortgagor, Mysore, nevermore, nor, oar, obligor, offshore, onshore, open-jaw, or, ore, outdoor, outwore, paw, poor, pore, pour, rapport, raw, roar, saw, scaur, score, senhor, señor, shaw, ship-to-shore, shop-floor, shore, signor, Singapore, snore, soar, softcore, sore, spore, store, straw, swore, Tagore, tau, taw, thaw, Thor, threescore, tor, tore, torr, trapdoor, tug-of-war, two-by-four, underfloor, underscore, war, warrantor, Waugh, whore, withdraw, wore, yaw, yore, your

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: jaw

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.