- the mouth, throat, or gullet of an animal, especially a carnivorous mammal.
- the crop or craw of a fowl.
- the stomach, especially that of an animal.
- a cavernous opening that resembles the open jaws of an animal: the gaping maw of hell.
- the symbolic or theoretical center of a voracious hunger or appetite of any kind: the ravenous maw of Death.
Origin of maw1
Origin of maw2
Examples from the Web for maws
Historical Examples of maws
O, sir, have a good stomach and maws; you shall have a joyful supper.The Works of John Marston
He saw many salmon leaping, and found them in the maws of cod.Alaska
My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites!Thus Spake Zarathustra
He brandished the shovel with which he had been shamefully forced to feed the maws of the furnaces.The Portal of Dreams
Charles Neville Buck
Guess Ive got maws fool in a fuss, he said grimly to himself as he braced his body for a struggle.Mason of Bar X Ranch
- the mouth, throat, crop, or stomach of an animal, esp of a voracious animal
- informal the mouth or stomach of a greedy person
Word Origin for maw
Word Origin and History for maws
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.