From Middle English jawe, jowe, geowe, alteration of *chawe (in early Modern English chawe, chaw), from Proto-Germanic *kawǭ (compare Middle Dutch kauwe (“fish jaw”), kouwe (“mouth cavity”), dialectal German Käu, Keu (“jaw, donkey jowl”)), gradation-variant of *kewǭ (compare Old English ċīan (pl.) ‘gills’, West Frisian kiuw (“gill”), Dutch kieuw (“gill”)), noun from Proto-Germanic *kewwaną (compare English chew). More at chew. Alteration probably influenced by Middle English jolle, chaul (“jowl”), which it replaced (see jowl).
jaw (plural jaws)
- One of the bones, usually bearing teeth, which form the framework of the mouth.
- The part of the face below the mouth.
- (figuratively) Anything resembling the jaw of an animal in form or action; especially plural, the mouth or way of entrance.
- A notch or opening.
- A notched or forked part, adapted for holding an object in place.
- One of a pair of opposing parts which are movable towards or from each other, for grasping or crushing anything between them.
- (nautical) The inner end of a boom or gaff, hollowed in a half circle so as to move freely on a mast.
- (slang, dated) Impudent or abusive talk.
- (slang) Axle guard.
- (snooker) The curved part of the cushion marking the entry to the pocket.
jaw (third-person singular simple present jaws, present participle jawing, simple past and past participle jawed)
- (transitive) To assail or abuse by scolding.
- (intransitive) To scold; to clamor.
- (intransitive, informal) To talk; to converse.
- (snooker, transitive, intransitive) (of a ball) To stick in the jaws of a pocket.
Uncertain, see Jew's harp for more.
jaw (not comparable)
- (used in certain set phrases like jaw harp, jaw harpist and jaw's-trump)