• synonyms


[man-duh-buh l]
See more synonyms for mandible on Thesaurus.com
  1. the bone of the lower jaw.
  2. (in birds)
    1. the lower part of the bill.
    2. mandibles,the upper and lower parts of the bill.
  3. (in arthropods) one of the first pair of mouthpart appendages, typically a jawlike biting organ, but styliform or setiform in piercing and sucking species.
Show More

Origin of mandible

1375–1425; late Middle English < Late Latin mandibula jaw, equivalent to mandi- (combining form of Latin mandere to chew) + -bula noun suffix of means
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mandible

mouth, bone, snout, orifice, muzzle, jowl, maxilla, mandible, proboscis, projection, nozzle, bill, prow, nib, neb, pecker, cheek, dewlap, point

Examples from the Web for mandible

Historical Examples of mandible

  • Mala mandibularis: the grinding surface or area of a mandible.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • Adductor mandibulae: the muscle that draws in or closes the mandible.

  • In their massiveness they are unsurpassed save by the mandible from Mauer.

    Prehistoric Man

    W. L. H. Duckworth

  • But the mandible is wanting, and the molar teeth of the upper set are absent.

    Prehistoric Man

    W. L. H. Duckworth

  • The premaxill and the end of the mandible are greatly expanded.

British Dictionary definitions for mandible


  1. the lower jawbone in vertebratesSee jaw (def. 1)
  2. either of a pair of mouthparts in insects and other arthropods that are usually used for biting and crushing food
  3. ornithol either the upper or the lower part of the bill, esp the lower part
Show More
Derived Formsmandibular (mænˈdɪbjʊlə), adjectivemandibulate (mænˈdɪbjʊlɪt, -ˌleɪt), noun, adjective

Word Origin for mandible

C16: via Old French from Late Latin mandibula jaw, from mandere to chew
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 mandible


late 14c., "jaw, jawbone," from Middle French mandible and directly from Late Latin mandibula "jaw," from Latin mandere "to chew," from PIE root *mendh- "to chew" (cf. Greek mastax "the mouth, that with which one chews; morsel, that which is chewed," masasthai "to chew," mastikhan "to gnash the teeth"). Of insect mouth parts from 1826.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mandible in Medicine


  1. A U-shaped bone forming the lower jaw, articulating with the temporal bone on either side.submaxilla
Show More
Related formsman•dibu•lar (-dĭbyə-lər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

mandible in Science


  1. The lower part of the jaw in vertebrate animals. See more at skeleton.
  2. One of the pincerlike mouthparts of insects and other arthropods.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.