• synonyms


[joul, johl]
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  1. a jaw, especially the lower jaw.
  2. the cheek.
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Origin of jowl1

before 1000; Middle English chawl, chavell, Old English ceafl jaw; cognate with Dutch kevel, German Kiefer, Old Norse kjaptr
Related formsjowled, adjective


[joul, johl]
  1. a fold of flesh hanging from the jaw, as of a very fat person.
  2. the meat of the cheek of a hog.
  3. the dewlap of cattle.
  4. the wattle of fowls.
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Also jole.

Origin of jowl2

1275–1325; Middle English cholle, Old English ceole throat; cognate with German Kehle throat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for jowl

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then their noses touched, and he felt the warm little tongue of the puppy on his jowl.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • And Czerny could live here, cheek by jowl with these fearsome mysteries!

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton

  • Moisture gathered on his jet-black nose; he licked his jowl.

    A Young Man in a Hurry

    Robert W. Chambers

  • Gulwing and Hartridge were over there on the sofa, cheek by jowl, and all was going well.

    Sundry Accounts

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • If there is an element of annoyance mingled with the surprise, An Jowl!

British Dictionary definitions for jowl


  1. the jaw, esp the lower one
  2. (often plural) a cheek, esp a prominent one
  3. cheek by jowl See cheek (def. 7)
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Derived Formsjowled, adjective

Word Origin

Old English ceafl jaw; related to Middle High German kivel, Old Norse kjaptr


  1. fatty flesh hanging from the lower jaw
  2. a similar fleshy part in animals, such as the wattle of a fowl or the dewlap of a bull
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Word Origin

Old English ceole throat; compare Old High German kela
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 jowl


"jaw," 1570s, alteration of Middle English chawl (late 14c.), chavel (early 14c.), from Old English ceafl, from Proto-Germanic *kefalaz (cf. Middle High German kiver, German kiefer, Old Norse kjoptr "jaw," Danish kæft, Flemish kavel, Dutch kevel "gum"), from PIE *gep(h)- "jaw, mouth" (cf. Old Irish gop, Irish gob "beak, mouth"). The change from ch- to j- has not been explained.

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"fold of flesh under the jaw," 1590s, alteration of Middle English cholle "fold of flesh hanging from the jaw" (c.1300), perhaps from Old English ceole "throat," from PIE *gwele- "to swallow" (see glut). This word and jowl (n.1) influenced one another in form and sense.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with jowl


see cheek by jowl.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.