Definition of jaw in English:

jaw

Line breaks: jaw
Pronunciation: /dʒɔː
 
/

noun

  • 1Each of the upper and lower bony structures in vertebrates forming the framework of the mouth and containing the teeth.
    More 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.
    More 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.
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    • 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 (usually jaws) The gripping parts of a tool or machine, such as a wrench or vice.
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    • 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.
  • 1.5 (jaws) The grasping or destructive power of something: victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat
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    • 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.
  • 1.6 (jaws) An opening likened to a mouth: a passenger stepping from the jaws of a car ferry
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    • 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.
  • 2 [mass noun] informal Talk or gossip, especially when lengthy or tedious: committee work is just endless jaw

verb

[no object] informal Back to top  
  • Talk at length; chatter: I was too busy to spend time jawing with the rest of the crew
    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.

Phrases

one's jaw drops

One feels or appears amazed or shocked: Laurel’s jaw dropped despite her attempts to hide her surprise
More example sentences
  • I don't normally experience moments where my jaw drops at something online.
  • Some moments, my jaw drops, I don't believe what just happened.
  • His eyebrows rise in surprise as his jaw drops.

Derivatives

jawed

adjective
[in combination]: square-jawed young men

jawless

adjective
More 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.

Origin

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

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