slack-jawed

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English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

slack-jawed (comparative more slack-jawed, superlative most slack-jawed)

  1. (of a person) With the mouth in an open position and the jaw hanging loosely, especially as indicating bewilderment or astonishment.
    • 1911, Rex Ellingwood Beach, The Ne'er-Do-Well, ch. 26:
      For one frightful moment there was no sound; even the men's breathing was hushed, and they sat slack-jawed, stunned, half-minded to believe this some hideous, incredible jest.
  2. (idiomatic, of a person) Unsophisticated or unthinking; dimwitted in appearance.
    • 2002, Brooks Blevins, Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and their Image, ISBN 9780807853429, p. 262:
      She brought to the stage the barefoot, slack-jawed frontiersmen found on postcards in every convenience store and tourist trap in the Ozarks.
    • 2005, Michelle Cottle, "My Roving Barcalounger," Time, 24 July:
      But driving a car—particularly the supersize models—really should demand more concentration than, say, slouching slack-jawed in front of the wide screen in your den.
  3. (idiomatic, dated, of a person) Overly talkative; indiscreet.
    • 1917, P. G. Wodehouse, "Wilton's Holiday" in The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories:
      Spencer was one of those slack-jawed youths who are constitutionally incapable of preserving a secret.

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