[man-duh-buh l]
See more synonyms for mandible on
  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.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mandible

Historical Examples of mandible

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
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.

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
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.