From Middle English jawe, jowe, geowe, alteration of *chawe (in early Modern English chawe, chaw), from Proto-Germanic *kawǭ (compare Middle Dutch kauwe (“fish jaw”), kouwe (“mouth cavity”), dialectal German Käu, Keu (“jaw, donkey jowl”)), gradation-variant of *kewǭ (compare Old English cīan (pl.) ‘gills’, West Frisian kiuw ‘gill’, Dutch kieuw ‘gill’), noun from Proto-Germanic *kewwaną (compare English chew). More at chew. Alteration probably influenced by Middle English jolle, chaul (“jowl”), which it replaced (see jowl).
- (UK) enPR: jôː, IPA(key): /d͡ʒɔː/
- (US) enPR: jô, IPA(key): /d͡ʒɔ/
- (cot–caught merger) enPR: jä, IPA(key): /d͡ʒɑ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔː
jaw (plural jaws)
- One of the bones, usually bearing teeth, which form the framework of the mouth.
- The part of the face below the mouth.
- His jaw dropped in amazement.
- (figuratively) Anything resembling the jaw of an animal in form or action; especially plural, the mouth or way of entrance.
- the jaws of a pass; the jaws of darkness; the jaws of death.
- A notch or opening.
- A notched or forked part, adapted for holding an object in place.
- the jaw of a railway-car pedestal.
- One of a pair of opposing parts which are movable towards or from each other, for grasping or crushing anything between them.
- the jaws of a vise; the jaws of a stone-crushing machine.
- (nautical) The inner end of a boom or gaff, hollowed in a half circle so as to move freely on a mast.
- (slang, dated) Impudent or abusive talk.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of H. Kingsley to this entry?)
- (slang) Axle guard.
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