slack-jawed

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Adjective[edit]

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

  1. With the mouth in an open position and the jaw hanging loosely, especially as indicating bewilderment or astonishment.
    Synonyms: dazzled, dumbfounded, open-mouthed, stunned
    • 1911, Rex Ellingwood Beach, chapter 26, in The Ne'er-Do-Well[1]:
      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. (by extension) Unsophisticated or unthinking; dimwitted in appearance.
    Synonyms: dopey, stupid, stupefied
    • 2002, Brooks Blevins, Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and their Image, →ISBN, page 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 July 24, Michelle Cottle, “My Roving Barcalounger”, in Time[2], archived from the original on 2005-07-28:
      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. (dated) Overly talkative; indiscreet.
    Synonym: big-mouthed
    • 1917, P. G. Wodehouse, “Wilton's Holiday”, in The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories[3]:
      As a matter of fact, it was by trying to lean on it that Spencer Clay got hold of the facts of the case; and when young Clay got hold of anything, Marois Bay at large had it hot and fresh a few hours later; for Spencer was one of those slack-jawed youths who are constitutionally incapable of preserving a secret.

See also[edit]