Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. Either of two bony or cartilaginous structures that in most vertebrates form the framework of the mouth and hold the teeth.
b. The mandible or maxilla or the part of the face covering these bones.
c. Any of various structures of invertebrates that have an analogous function to vertebrate jaws.
2. Either of two opposed hinged parts in a mechanical device.
3. jaws The walls of a pass, canyon, or cavern.
4. jaws A dangerous situation or confrontation: the jaws of death.
5. Slang
a. Impudent argument or back talk: Don't give me any jaw.
b. A conversation or chat.
intr.v. jawed, jaw·ing, jaws Slang
1. To talk vociferously; jabber.
2. To talk; converse.

[Middle English jawe, jowe, perhaps from Old French joue, cheek.]

jaw′less adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


having no jaws or lacking a jaw
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.jawless - of animals having no jaw
jawed - of animals having jaws of a specified type
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
It hosts type of jawless fish called lamprey which existed 200 million years before dinosaurs.
Marine organisms such as sponges and algae, along with primitive snails, clams, cephalopods and jawless fish called ostracoderms, all suffered as a consequence.
Purification and identification of a novel primitive secretory enzyme catalyzing the hydrolysis of imidazole-related dipeptides in the jawless vertebrate Lethenteron reissneri.
"Instead, our work shows that almost every major vertebrate division, from the earliest armored jawless fish all the way up through sharks and our own ancestors, all started out right near the beach, far inshore of the reef.
Mikrostruktura pantsyrya beschelyustnykh pozvonochnykh silura i devona [Mikrostructure of the armour of the jawless vertebrates from the Silurian and Devonian].
Lamprey is an eel-like jawless fish which has the capacity to heal its own spinal cord injuries, so is it possible humans can do the same?
The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is a jawless vertebrate that during metamorphosis from larvae to parasitic juveniles progressively loses the biliary system until complete biliary degeneration.
The Kofi Annan commission is proving to be jawless. The former UN Secretary General was recently permitted to visit the Rakhine (Arakan) state for the first time since the crisis erupted.
Madhav wants the Pakistanis to be jawless because four of them allegedly infiltrated into India.
Moreover, the cartilaginous fish have five to seven pairs of gills, and primitive jawless fish have seven pairs of gills (Romer, 1949).
Hagfishes (Myxinidae) often integrate whole-body knotting movements with jawless biting motions when reducing large marine carcasses to ingestible items.
The creature was probably an ancestor of lampreys, jawless fish that can latch onto prey like a vacuum cleaner hose with teeth, say study coauthor Victoria McCoy of Yale University and colleagues.