1. Informal. a word that is hard to pronounce.
  2. a very hard, usually round, candy.
  3. 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 formsjaw·break·ing, adjectivejaw·break·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jaw-breaker

Historical Examples of jaw-breaker

British Dictionary definitions for jaw-breaker


  1. Also called: jawcrusher a device having hinged jaws for crushing rocks and ores
  2. informal a word that is hard to pronounce
Derived Formsjawbreaking, adjectivejawbreakingly, 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

Word Origin and History for jaw-breaker

also jawbreaker 1839, "word hard to pronounce" (jawbreakingly, in reference to pronouncing words, is from 1824), from jaw (n.) + agent noun from break (v.). As a type of candy, by 1911.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper