Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: joe


1 noun
1 [countable]HB one of the two bones that your teeth are in:
a broken jaw
lower/upper jaw
an animal with two rows of teeth in its lower jaw
2 [countable usually singular] the lower part of your face. Its shape is sometimes thought to show your character:
He punched him on the jaw.
a rugged physique and a strong square jaw
She's got a very determined jaw.

somebody's jaw dropped

used to say that someone looked surprised or shocked:
'You're not serious, are you?' Ellen's jaw dropped.


a) HB the mouth of a person or animal, especially a dangerous animal
b) the two parts of a machine or tool that move together to hold something tightly

the jaws of death/defeat/despair etc

literary a situation in which something unpleasant almost happens:
She had saved him from the jaws of death.

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