Definition of JAW

JAW Noun and Verb

Jaw is a versatile term that functions as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it refers to the framework of bones in the mouth that hold the teeth and form the shape of the mouth. As a verb, it describes the action of speaking or uttering something in a forceful or determined manner.

JAW as a noun

As a noun, the jaw is the bony structure in the mouth that includes the upper jaw (maxilla) and the lower jaw (mandible). It plays a crucial role in facilitating actions such as chewing, speaking, and facial expressions. The jawbone houses the teeth and provides support for the muscles involved in these activities.

JAW as a verb

As a verb, to jaw means to speak or utter something forcefully or in a determined manner. It can imply speaking at length or with intensity, often in a manner that commands attention or expresses strong emotion. For example, one might say, “She jawed angrily at her colleague for his careless mistake.”

Anatomy and Function: The jaw consists of two main parts: the upper jaw, known as the maxilla, and the lower jaw, known as the mandible. These bones are connected by joints, allowing for movement necessary for activities such as chewing and speaking. The jaw also houses the teeth, which play a vital role in the digestion process by breaking down food into smaller pieces.

Chewing and Eating: One of the primary functions of the jaw is to facilitate chewing and eating. The muscles attached to the jawbone contract and relax to move the mandible up and down, allowing for the grinding and crushing of food between the teeth.

Speech and Communication: The jaw is essential for speech and communication. It works in conjunction with the tongue, lips, and palate to produce a wide range of sounds necessary for spoken language. Movements of the jaw control the opening and closing of the mouth, influencing the articulation of vowels and consonants in speech production.

Facial Expressions: In addition to its functional roles in eating and speaking, the jaw also contributes to facial expressions. Movements of the jawbone, particularly the lower jaw, can convey emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, or surprise.

Dental Health: The health of the jaw is closely linked to dental health. Proper alignment and function of the jaw contribute to overall oral health, including the proper positioning of the teeth and gums.

Injury and Treatment: Injuries to the jaw, such as fractures or dislocations, can result from trauma or accidents. Treatment may involve immobilization, surgery, or dental procedures to repair the damage and restore function.

In conclusion, the jaw serves both as a noun, referring to the bony structure in the mouth, and as a verb, describing the action of speaking or uttering something forcefully. Understanding the anatomy and function of the jaw is crucial for maintaining oral health, effective communication, and overall well-being. Whether facilitating eating, speaking, or expressing emotions, the jaw plays a vital role in daily life and human interaction.

Use examples of JAW in a sentence

JAW as a noun in a sentence

  • He clenched his jaw tightly, trying to control his anger.
  • The boxer’s opponent landed a powerful punch to his jaw.
  • Her jaw dropped in surprise when she heard the news.
  • The dentist examined his patient’s jaw for signs of tooth decay.
  • The lion’s powerful jaw can crush bone with ease.
  • She felt a dull ache in her jaw after hours of chewing gum.
  • His jaw tightened with determination as he prepared for the challenge ahead.
  • The doctor recommended exercises to strengthen the muscles in his jaw.

JAW as a verb in a sentence

  • He jawed on and on about his latest hobby, oblivious to his friends’ boredom.
  • The politician jawed with reporters about the latest scandal.
  • She couldn’t help but jaw with excitement about her upcoming vacation.
  • The coach jawed at the referee over a disputed call.
  • They spent hours jawing about their favorite movies and TV shows.
  • The neighbors often jawed over the fence about gardening tips.
  • The two friends jawed over a cup of coffee at the cafe.
  • The group of teenagers jawed excitedly as they made plans for the weekend.

Origin of JAW

The term jaw has its origins in Old English, where it was spelled as “ceowan.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Old English (ceowan): The root from which jaw evolved.

Therefore, jaw originally referred to the bone structure that forms the framework of the mouth, including the mandible and the maxilla.

In modern usage, jaw still refers to the bone structure of the mouth, specifically the lower jaw or mandible. It is also used more broadly to describe the action of opening and closing the mouth or the act of speaking. Additionally, jaw can be used metaphorically to denote the ability to speak or to describe someone’s manner of speaking, such as having a strong jaw or a firm jawline.


  • Mandible
  • Maxilla
  • Chin
  • Lower face
  • Jowl
  • Mouth
  • Bite
  • Muzzle


  • Forehead
  • Crown
  • Skull
  • Cranium
  • Scalp
  • Pate
  • Top of the head
  • Cerebrum


  • Dental
  • Temporomandibular Joint
  • Dentition
  • Bite force
  • Dental health
  • Orthodontics
  • Facial Anatomy

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