Meaning of JAW in English


I. ˈjȯ noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English jow, jowe, jaw, jawe, probably from Middle French joe, joue cheek


a. : either of two complex cartilaginous or bony structures in most vertebrates that border the mouth, support the soft parts enclosing it, and usually bear teeth on their oral margin comprising (1) an upper more or less firmly fused with the skull and (2) a lower hinged, movable, and articulated by a pair of condyles with the temporal bone of either side — called also respectively (1) upper jaw, maxilla, (2) lower jaw, mandible

b. : the bones, muscles, nerves, and other parts constituting the walls of the mouth and serving to open and close it — usually used in plural

c. : any of various organs of invertebrates that perform the function (as the biting or masticating of food) of the vertebrate jaws — compare chelicera , mandible 2, mastax

2. : something resembling the jaw of an animal in form or action: as

a. : one of the sides of a narrow opening (as of a gorge)

b. : either of two or more opposing parts (as of a vise, measuring machine, pair of pliers, stone crusher) movable so as to open and close for holding, grasping, clamping, cutting, or crushing something between them — see vise illustration

c. : a notched or forked part (as a guide allowing vertical play to a railroad-car axle box) adapted for holding an object in place


(1) : the inner end of a boom or gaff forked or hollowed so as to partly encircle and move freely on the mast

(2) : projections from a yard at the slings often connected by the parrel


a. : a space lying between or as if between open jaws

escaped from out of the jaws of the whale

close the jaw of the shackle with a bolt

b. : a position or situation in which one is threatened (as with death)

rode into the jaws of danger

4. slang

a. : talk

no time for jaw

especially : impudent or offensive talk : scolding

hold your jaw and be off

don't have to take any of his jaw

b. : a friendly talk : chat

looked up his friend and had a good long jaw

5. : the pitch of a helix formed by a strand of rope

soft-laid, tarred hemp, 3-stranded with rather long jaw — C.W.T.Layton

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to exercise the jaws upon

jawed her bubble gum

2. : to scold at

jawed him all evening about the accident

3. : to talk at tiresomely

jaw the customer till his resistance is broken down

intransitive verb

1. : to speak abusively or indignantly and at length

left when she began jawing at him

quit jawing about it

2. : to talk at length : chat , gab

jawed together all day about old times

Synonyms: see scold

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: origin unknown

chiefly Scotland : wave , splash

IV. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

chiefly Scotland : to throw (liquid) in quantity

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.