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flap (one's) jaws

To talk in a meaningless, aimless, or idle manner. Jim always starts flapping his jaws after he's had a couple of drinks.
See also: flap, jaw

jaw away

To talk incessantly and/or at great length. I became so bored while the professor jawed away at us that I nearly fell asleep in the middle of the lecture. Whenever I meet up with Tammy, our "conversation" is always just her jawing away while I listen patiently on.
See also: away, jaw

snatch (someone) from the jaws of death

To rescue someone at the last moment from near or certain death. Thankfully, the EMTs arrived to the crash in time to snatch the woman and her child from the jaws of death.
See also: death, jaw, of, snatch

be snatched from the jaws of death

To be rescued at the last moment from near or certain death. The drowning fishermen were snatched from the jaws of death by a passing cruise ship.
See also: death, jaw, of, snatch

make (someone's) jaw drop

To cause someone to pause in astonishment, awe, or disbelief, especially with his or her mouth left open. Did you see Kathy's new dress? It's so gorgeous it made my jaw drop! That play was so amazing that it made all of our jaws drop! It made my husband's jaw drop to hear that I was leaving him.
See also: drop, jaw, make

snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

To fail, lose, or be defeated despite the appearance that one would be victorious, especially due to a mistake, error, or poor judgment. (An ironic reversal of the more common "snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.") We were ahead by nearly 20 points with less than half the quarter remaining—how on earth did we manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like that? The candidate has led in the polls right up to election day, but with that unfortunate remark last night, he may well have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

flap one's gums

 and flap one's jaws
Rur. to talk aimlessly. They're still out on the porch, flapping their gums. Well, I can't sit here flapping my jaws all day. Gotta get back to work.
See also: flap, gum

have a glass jaw

Fig. to be susceptible to a knockout when struck on the head. (Said only of boxers who are frequently knocked down by a blow to the head.) When the prizefighter was knocked out cold by a right to the chin in the first round, the newspapers said he had a glass jaw. Once a fighter has a glass jaw, he's finished as a boxer.
See also: glass, have, jaw

jaw about someone or something

Fig. to talk aimlessly about someone or something. Do we have to keep jawing about Tom all day? Stop jawing about your problems and set about fixing them.
See also: jaw

jaw at someone

Fig. to lecture at someone; to talk endlessly to someone. Please stop jawing at me. You are jawing at me too much lately.
See also: jaw

jaw someone down

Sl. to talk someone down; to wear someone down talking. We'll try to jaw him down. If that doesn't work, I don't know what we will do. We will jaw down the objectors.
See also: down, jaw

snatch someone out of the jaws of death

 and snatch someone from the jaws of death
Fig. to save someone from almost certain or imminent death. The soldier snatched the tiny child from the jaws of death.
See also: death, jaw, of, out, snatch

snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

Cliché to win at the last moment. At the last moment, the team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last-second full-court basket.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

your jaw drops

to show great surprise My jaw dropped when I heard she'd been admitted to Harvard.
See also: drop, jaw


1. n. a chat. I could use a good jaw with my old friend.
2. in. to chat. Stop jawing and get to work.
3. Go to jaw(bone).

jaw someone down

tv. to talk someone down; to wear someone down talking. We’ll try to jaw him down. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what we will do.
See also: down, jaw


tv. to try to persuade someone verbally; to apply verbal pressure to someone. They tried to jawbone me into doing it.


References in periodicals archive ?
By imaging the internal structure of the skull using high-energy X-rays at the European Synchrotron (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, the authors show that the skull housed a brain with a short front end, very similar to that of a jawless vertebrate.
In effect, Romundina has the construction of a jawed vertebrate but the proportions of a jawless one", Per Ahlberg, of Uppsala University and one of the other lead authors, said.
Paired fins of jawless vertebrates and their homologies across the agnathan-gnathostome transition.
Essentially what we found is that the genetic roots of the vertebrate jaw can be found in the embryos of a weird jawless fish called the sea lamprey," said Daniel Meulemans Medeiros, lead author of the study.
Between jawless vertebrates -- called agnathans -- and vertebrates with jaws-called gnathosomes-only three genes of the 12 genes the team looked at appeared to be used differently, Medeiros said.
A more rigorous test of monophyly would involve a much larger sampling from among other jawless vertebrates, and a much larger number of characters.
New Silurian and Devonian 'fork-tailed' thelodonts are jawless vertebrates with stomachs and deep bodies.
Scientists in 1976 identified the fossils, called Anatolepis, as the scales of a jawless fish.
Writing about their study in the journal PLoS Biology, the researchers said that the first vertebrates to have teeth were a group of eel-like jawless fish, known as the conodonts, which had teeth not in their mouth, but lining the throat.
The microstructure of the dermal armour of jawless vertebrates from the Silurian and Devonian.
The Cyathaspididae: a family of Silurian and Devonian jawless vertebrates.
The oldest known vertebrates, a collection of remarkably well-preserved remains of 30 jawless fish, have been discovered by an international team of paleontologists in the mountains of southern Bolivia, according to an announcement last week by the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.
Washington, July 21 (ANI): In a new research, scientists have discovered that the sea lamprey, which emerged from jawless fish first appearing 500 million years ago, dramatically remodels its genome.
Fossils of primitive, jawless fish dating back 470 million yearsare the oldest known examples of vertebrates, a subphylum to which both human beings and salamanders belong.
These 18 Paleozoic-era snails, half of them new to science, did live on reefs some 420 million years ago, when jawless fishes spread throughout the seas and the ancestors of spiders and centipedes began creeping about on land.