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Alternative forms[edit]


  • enPR: jōl, joul, IPA(key): /d͡ʒəʊl/, /d͡ʒaʊl/
  • (file)
  • Homophones: Joel (one pronunciation), joule (one pronunciation)
  • Rhymes: -əʊl, -aʊl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English jawle, chawl, chavel (jaw, jawbone), from Old English ċeafl (jaw, cheek), from Proto-West Germanic *kafl (jaw, cheek). The modern form (for expected chavel, chawl; still found dialectally) is influenced by jaw, which it is a partial doublet of.


jowl (plural jowls)

  1. The jaw, jawbone; especially one of the lateral parts of the mandible.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, chapter 4, in Moonfleet, London, Toronto, Ont.: Jonathan Cape, published 1934:
      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.


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

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To throw, dash, or knock.
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: [] (Second Quarto), London: [] I[ames] R[oberts] for N[icholas] L[ing] [], published 1604, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
      That ſkull had a tongue in it, and could ſing once, how the knave iowles it to the ground, as if twere Caines iawbone, that did the firſt murder, this might be the pate of a pollitician, which this aſſe now ore-reaches; one that would circumuent God, might it not?
      That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once – how that knave [a gravedigger] throws it to the ground, as if it was the jawbone of Cain, who committed the first murder. This might have been the head of a politician, which this ass now gets the better of; one that could have talked its way around God, might it not?

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English cholle (wattle, jowl), from Old English ċeole (throat), from Proto-West Germanic *kelā, from Proto-Germanic *kelǭ (gullet) (compare Scots choll, West Frisian kiel, Dutch keel, German Kehle), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷelu- (to swallow) (compare Old Irish in·gilid (to graze), Irish goile (stomach), Latin gula (throat), gluttiō (to swallow), Russian глота́ть (glotátʹ, to swallow, gulp), Ancient Greek δέλεαρ (délear, lure), Armenian կլանել (klanel, I swallow), Persian گلو (galu), Hindi गला (galā, neck, throat)).

Alternative forms[edit]


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. The cheek; especially the cheek meat of a hog.
  3. A cut of fish including the head and adjacent parts
Derived terms[edit]