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[jaw-brey-ker] /ˈdʒɔˌbreɪ kər/
Informal. a word that is hard to pronounce.
a very hard, usually round, candy.
Also called jaw crusher. Mining. a machine used to break up ore, consisting of a fixed plate and a hinged jaw moved by a toggle joint.
Origin of jawbreaker
First recorded in 1830-40; jaw1 + breaker1
Related forms
jawbreaking, adjective
jawbreakingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jaw-breaking
Historical Examples
  • But Slade held him up with an iron grip on the jaw-breaking Spanish ring-bit.

    Bloom of Cactus Robert Ames Bennet
  • "Walking Along" is the English translation of his jaw-breaking surname.

    Among the Sioux R. J. Creswell
  • Such an educated feller his thoughts just came in herds, He (p. 155) astonished all them cowboys with them jaw-breaking words.

    Cowboy Songs Various
  • I seem to hear pronounced by some of his kin at such a time his original wild name in some jaw-breaking or else melodious tongue.

    Excursions and Poems

    Henry David Thoreau
  • A question often put when a jaw-breaking word has been intrusively uttered by savants.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • These jaw-breaking names are commended to those who think that the Indian names of northern Maine are difficult to handle.

  • A display of authority on the part of the top sergeant prevented a clash and the jaw-breaking contest proceeded.

    Danger Signals John A. Hill and Jasper Ewing Brady
  • The next place where we had trouble was around a village with the jaw-breaking name of Elsasshausen.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • Every camp contributes its myriads of brown cylinders to the millions that go bobbing down rivers with jaw-breaking names.

British Dictionary definitions for jaw-breaking


Also called jawcrusher. a device having hinged jaws for crushing rocks and ores
(informal) a word that is hard to pronounce
Derived Forms
jawbreaking, adjective
jawbreakingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for jaw-breaking



  1. A long word or a word difficult to pronounce: Diphenyl-pentoactomaggetoneplangianoliosis is something of a jawbreaker (1835+)
  2. A piece of hard candy, esp a spherical piece with bubblegum in the center (1875+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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