ETYM A modification of chaw, formed under the influence of French joue the cheek. Related to Chaw, Chew.
1. One or both of the opposing parts of a tool that close to hold an object; SYN. jaws.
2. The bones of the skull that frame the mouth and serve to open it; the bones that hold the teeth.
3. The part of the skull of a vertebrate that frames the mouth and holds the teeth.
One of two bony structures that form the framework of the mouth in all vertebrates except lampreys and hagfishes (the agnathous or jawless vertebrates). They consist of the upper jawbone (maxilla), which is fused to the skull, and the lower jawbone (mandible), which is hinged at each side to the bones of the temple by ligaments.