[ jaw-bohn ]
/ ˈdʒɔˌboʊn /


a bone of either jaw; a maxilla or mandible.
the bone of the lower jaw; mandible.

verb (used with or without object), jaw·boned, jaw·bon·ing.

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.


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. 2019

Examples from the Web for jawbone

British Dictionary definitions for jawbone


/ (ˈdʒɔːˌbəʊn) /


a nontechnical name for mandible, (or (less commonly)) maxilla


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

Medicine definitions for jawbone


[ jôbōn′ ]


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.