Origin of jawed

First recorded in 1520–30; jaw1 + -ed3


  1. either of two bones, the mandible or maxilla, forming the framework of the mouth.
  2. the part of the face covering these bones, the mouth, or the mouth parts collectively: My jaw is swollen.
  3. jaws, anything resembling a pair of jaws or evoking the concept of grasping and holding: the jaws of a gorge; the jaws of death.
  4. Machinery.
    1. one of two or more parts, as of a machine, that grasp or hold something: the jaws of a vise.
    2. any of two or more protruding parts for attaching to or meshing with similar parts.
  5. Often jaws. Also called throat. Nautical. a forked piece at the end of a gaff, fitting halfway around the mast.
  6. Slang.
    1. idle talk; chatter.
    2. impertinent talk.
verb (used without object)
  1. Slang.
    1. to talk; chat; gossip.
    2. to scold or use abusive language.
verb (used with object)
  1. 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
  1. a swelling wave of water; billow.
verb (used without object)
  1. (of liquid) to surge, splash, or dash forward, as in waves.
verb (used with object)
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for jawed

Contemporary Examples of jawed

Historical Examples of jawed

  • We jawed and gurgled for about an hour and settled all the major points.

    The Repairman

    Harry Harrison

  • She jawed him for making an exhibition of himself, scolding as though he were a ten-year-old.

    The Octopus

    Frank Norris

  • Then a woman came along, and Eliza got her into a corner by the stairs and jawed.

  • So he sat around a good deal, and jawed a good deal, and smoked.

  • He told the boss, and the boss sent for me, and jawed for a quarter of an hour.

    The Daughters of a Genius

    Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

British Dictionary definitions for jawed


  1. 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
  2. the corresponding part of an invertebrate, esp an insect
  3. a pair or either of a pair of hinged or sliding components of a machine or tool designed to grip an object
  4. slang
    1. impudent talk; cheek
    2. idle conversation; chat
    3. moralizing talk; a lecture
  1. (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 jawed



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

jawed in Medicine


  1. Either of two bony structures that form the framework of the mouth and hold the teeth.
  2. 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.

jawed in Science


  1. 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.
  2. 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.