maw

1
[maw]
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noun
  1. the mouth, throat, or gullet of an animal, especially a carnivorous mammal.
  2. the crop or craw of a fowl.
  3. the stomach, especially that of an animal.
  4. a cavernous opening that resembles the open jaws of an animal: the gaping maw of hell.
  5. the symbolic or theoretical center of a voracious hunger or appetite of any kind: the ravenous maw of Death.

Origin of maw

1
before 900; Middle English mawe, Old English maga; cognate with Dutch maag, German Magen, Old Norse magi
Can be confusedmall maul maw

maw

2
[maw]
noun Informal.
  1. mother1.

Origin of maw

2
variant of ma
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for maw

craw, gullet, crop, jaws

Examples from the Web for maw

Contemporary Examples of maw

Historical Examples of maw


British Dictionary definitions for maw

maw

noun
  1. the mouth, throat, crop, or stomach of an animal, esp of a voracious animal
  2. informal the mouth or stomach of a greedy person

Word Origin for maw

Old English maga; related to Middle Dutch maghe, Old Norse magi
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 maw
n.

Old English maga "stomach" (of men and animals; in Modern English only of animals unless insultingly), from Proto-Germanic *magon "bag, stomach" (cf. Old Frisian maga, Old Norse magi, Danish mave, Middle Dutch maghe, Dutch maag, Old High German mago, German Magen "stomach"), from PIE *mak- "leather bag" (cf. Welsh megin "bellows," Lithuanian makas, Old Church Slavonic mošina "bag, pouch"). Meaning "throat, gullet" is from 1520s. Metaphoric of voracity from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper