verb (used without object)

  1. to talk; chat; gossip.
  2. to scold or use abusive language.

verb (used with object)

Slang. to scold.

Origin of jaw

1325–75; Middle English jawe, jowe < Old French joue; origin uncertain
Related formsjaw·less, adjective


[jaw]Scot. and North England


a swelling wave of water; billow.

verb (used without object)

(of liquid) to surge, splash, or dash forward, as in waves.

verb (used with object)

to pour or splash (liquid).

Origin of jaw

First recorded in 1505–15; perhaps akin to jaup
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jaw

Contemporary Examples of jaw

Historical Examples of jaw

  • But yesterday he up and bashed a fellow in the jaw, and the man went down.

  • Stanley's jaw dropped, but it was surprise which slackened the muscles.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Urga got up groggily, feeling gingerly the tender point of his jaw.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • For a moment Thad could see great, hooked fangs in that jaw.

    Salvage in Space

    John Stewart Williamson

  • You'll get a punch on the jaw in a minute, young fellow me lad!

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

British Dictionary definitions for jaw



the part of the skull of a vertebrate that frames the mouth and holds the teeth. In higher vertebrates it consists of the upper jaw (maxilla) fused to the cranium and the lower jaw (mandible)Related adjectives: gnathal, gnathic
the corresponding part of an invertebrate, esp an insect
a pair or either of a pair of hinged or sliding components of a machine or tool designed to grip an object
  1. impudent talk; cheek
  2. idle conversation; chat
  3. moralizing talk; a lecture


(intr) slang
  1. to talk idly; chat; gossip
  2. to lecture
See also jaws
Derived Formsjawlike, adjective

Word Origin for jaw

C14: probably from Old French joue cheek; related to Italian gota cheek
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

Word Origin and History for jaw

late 14c., "the bones of the mouth," perhaps from Old French joue "cheek," from Gaulish *gauta "cheek," or perhaps a variant of Germanic words related to chew (q.v.); cf. also jowl. Replaced Old English ceace, ceafl.


1610s, "to catch in the jaws, devour," from jaw (n.). In slang from 1748, "to gossip, to speak" 1810, "to scold." Related: Jawed; jawing. Hence 19c. U.S. slang jawsmith "talkative person" (1887).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

jaw in Medicine




Either of two bony structures that form the framework of the mouth and hold the teeth.
The mandible or maxilla or the part of the face covering these bones.
Related formsjawless adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

jaw in Science



Either of two bony or cartilaginous structures that in most vertebrate animals form the framework of the mouth, hold the teeth, and are used for biting and chewing food. The lower, movable part of the jaw is the mandible. The upper, fixed part is the maxilla.
Any of various structures of invertebrate animals, such as the pincers of spiders or mites, that function similarly to the jaws of vertebrates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.