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Alternative forms[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English chawl, chavel (cheek, jaw), from Old English ċeafl, from Proto-Germanic *keblą (compare Dutch kevels (jawbones), Swiss German Chifel), variant of *kebrą (compare German Kiefer), enlargement of Proto-Germanic *kebą (compare Low German Keve, Keben (jaw; gill) (pl.), Palatine German Kife), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵebʰ- (compare Irish gob (mouth), Lithuanian žė̃bti (to chew), Czech žábra (gills), Avestan [script needed] (zafar, mouth) [script needed]).


jowl (plural jowls)

  1. the jaw, jawbone; especially one of the lateral parts of the mandible.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      I had lain, therefore, all that time, cheek by jowl with Blackbeard himself, with only a thin shell of tinder wood to keep him from me, and now had thrust my hand into his coffin and plucked away his beard.
  2. the cheek; especially the cheek meat of a hog.


jowl (third-person singular simple present jowls, present participle jowling, simple past and past participle jowled)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To throw, dash, or knock.
    • Shakespeare
      How the knave jowls it to the ground.

Etymology 2[edit]

Middle English cholle (wattle, jowl), from Old English ċeole, ċeolu (throat), from Proto-Germanic *kelǭ (gullet) (compare West Frisian kiel, Dutch keel, German Kehle), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷelu- (to swallow) (compare Irish in-gilim (I graze), goile (stomach), Latin gula (throat), gluttīre (to swallow), Russian глотать (glotatʹ, to swallow, gulp), Greek δέλεαρ (délear, lure), Armenian կլանել (klanel, I swallow), Persian گلو (galû), Hindi गला (galā, neck, throat)).


jowl (plural jowls)

  1. a fold of fatty flesh under the chin, around the cheeks, or lower jaw (as a dewlap, wattle, crop, or double chin).
  2. cut of fish including the head and adjacent parts
Derived terms[edit]