Definition of jowl in English:

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Pronunciation: /joul/


(often jowls)
1The lower part of a person’s or animal’s cheek, especially when it is fleshy or drooping: she had a large nose and heavy jowls
More example sentences
  • He's about 50 pounds overweight, with a heavy gut and jowls.
  • He was a slight man with keen eyes, dark hair, a heavy jowl and bony fingers.
  • She wore her hair tied back, which only accentuated her large face and fleshy jowls.
1.1North American The cheek of a pig used as meat.
Example sentences
  • Using what were considered ‘throwaway’ cuts of meat - such as pork jowls and ribs - barbecuing provided an economic means of feeding a family.
  • These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham.
  • Hams, shoulders, jowls, and sides of bacon could be cured to last indefinitely.
1.2The loose fleshy part of the neck of certain animals, such as the dewlap of cattle or the wattle of birds.



Pronunciation: /jould/
[in combination]: ruddy-jowled


Example sentences
  • He'll be genetically to blame when I go all jowly.
  • The other man's jowly face was wreathed in smiles.
  • Joe graduated at 14, already thick in the chest, but clean-cut, with none of the jowly, predatory look of his adult years.


Old English ceole (related to German Kehle 'throat, gullet'), partly merged with Old English ceafl 'jaw' (related to Dutch kevels 'cheekbones').

  • cheek from Old English:

    The Old English word cheek, meaning both cheek and jaw, came to mean ‘rude or disrespectful behaviour’ in the mid 19th century. The sense probably comes from the idea of a person's cheeks moving as he rudely answers a superior back. Cheeky was first used around the same time. The affectionate reprimand you cheeky monkey! is particularly common in Lancashire, and is often used by the barmaid Betty Turpin in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street. A variation of the expression was popularized in the 1950s by the comedian Al Read, whose catchphrase was ‘Right, monkey!’ In cheek by jowl, meaning ‘very close together’, jowl (Old English) simply means ‘cheek’. In fact the original form of the phrase was cheek by cheek. To turn the other cheek is to make a deliberate decision to remain calm and not to retaliate when you have been attacked or insulted. The expression comes from the Gospel of Matthew: ‘But I say to ye, That ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other.’

Words that rhyme with jowl

afoul, befoul, cowl, foul, fowl, growl, howl, owl, prowl, Rabaul, scowl, yowl

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: jowl

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