Definition of


  1. (noun, artifact) holding device consisting of one or both of the opposing parts of a tool that close to hold an object
  2. (noun, body) the part of the skull of a vertebrate that frames the mouth and holds the teeth
  3. (noun, body) the bones of the skull that frame the mouth and serve to open it; the bones that hold the teeth
  4. (verb, communication) censure severely or angrily
    The deputy ragged the Prime Minister
    The customer dressed down the waiter for bringing cold soup
  5. (verb, communication) talk incessantly and tiresomely
  6. (verb, communication) talk socially without exchanging too much information
  7. (verb, consumption) chew (food); to bite and grind with the teeth
    Chew your food and don't swallow it!
    The cows were masticating the grass

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Jaw

  1. late 14c., "the bones of the mouth," perhaps from O.Fr. joue "cheek," from Gaulish *gauta "cheek," or perhaps a variant of words related to chew (q.v.). Replaced O.E. ceace, ceafl. Slang for "to speak" since 1748; hence 19c. U.S. slang jawsmith "talkative person" (1887). Jawbreaker "word hard to pronounce" is from 1839. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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