[ juhg-yuh-ler, joo-gyuh- ]
/ ˈdʒʌg yə lər, ˈdʒu gyə- /


  1. of or relating to the throat or neck.
  2. noting or pertaining to any of certain large veins of the neck, especially one (external jugular vein) collecting blood from the superficial parts of the head or one (internal jugular vein) collecting blood from within the skull.
(of a fish) having the pelvic fins at the throat, before the pectoral fins.


Anatomy. a jugular vein.



    go for the jugular, to attack a vital and vulnerable trait, feature, element, etc., in an attempt to overcome somebody or something swiftly and totally: The defense attorney went right for the jugular by attempting to destroy the witness's credibility.

Origin of jugular

1590–1600; < Late Latin jugulāris, equivalent to Latin jugul(um) throat (see jugulate) + -āris -ar1
Related formsin·ter·jug·u·lar, adjectivepost·jug·u·lar, adjectivesub·jug·u·lar, adjective
Can be confusedjuggler jugular
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jugular

British Dictionary definitions for jugular


/ (ˈdʒʌɡjʊlə) /


of, relating to, or situated near the throat or neck
of, having, or denoting pelvic fins situated in front of the pectoral finsa jugular fish


short for jugular vein
go for the jugular to make a savage and destructive attack on an enemy's weakest point

Word Origin for jugular

C16: from Late Latin jugulāris, from Latin jugulum throat
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 jugular



1590s, "pertaining to the throat or neck" (especially in reference to the great veins of the neck), from Modern Latin jugularis, from Latin iugulum "collarbone, throat, neck," diminutive of iugum "yoke," related to iungere "to join," from PIE *yeug- "to join" (cf. Sanskrit yugam "yoke," yunjati "binds, harnesses," yogah "union;" Hittite yugan "yoke;" Greek zygon "yoke," zeugnyanai "to join, unite;" Old Church Slavonic igo, Old Welsh iou "yoke;" Lithuanian jungas "yoke," jungiu "fastened in a yoke;" Old English geoc "yoke;" probably also Latin iuxta "close by"). As a noun, 1610s, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for jugular


[ jŭgyə-lər ]


Of, relating to, or located in the region of the neck or throat.


A jugular vein.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with jugular


see go for, def. 4.

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