See more synonyms for jawbone on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with or without object), jaw·boned, jaw·bon·ing.
  1. Informal. to attempt to influence or pressure by persuasion rather than by the exertion of force or one's authority, as in urging voluntary compliance with economic guidelines: The president jawboned the steel industry into postponing price increases.
  1. Informal. obtained by or resorting to such a practice: jawbone controls.

Origin of jawbone

First recorded in 1480–90; jaw1 + bone
Related formsjaw·bon·ing, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for jawbone


  1. a nontechnical name for mandible, (or (less commonly)) maxilla
  1. US to try to persuade or bring pressure to bear (on) by virtue of one's high office or position, esp in urging compliance with official policy
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 jawbone

mid-15c., from jaw (n.) + bone (n.). Hence jawboning "lecturing, hectoring," a term associated with the U.S. Lyndon Johnson presidential administration (1966); cf. jaw (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

jawbone in Medicine


  1. The maxilla or, especially, the mandible.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.