1. a bone of either jaw; a maxilla or mandible.
  2. the bone of the lower jaw; mandible.

verb (used with or without object), jaw·boned, jaw·bon·ing.

  1. Informal. to attempt to influence or pressure by persuasion rather than by the exertion of force or one’s authority, as in urging voluntary compliance with economic guidelines: The president jawboned the steel industry into postponing price increases.


  1. Informal. obtained by or resorting to such a practice: jawbone controls.


  1. a nontechnical name for mandible, (or (less commonly)) maxilla


  1. US to try to persuade or bring pressure to bear (on) by virtue of one’s high office or position, esp in urging compliance with official policy

mid-15c., from jaw (n.) + bone (n.). Hence jawboning “lecturing, hectoring,” a term associated with the U.S. Lyndon Johnson presidential administration (1966); cf. jaw (v.).


  1. The maxilla or, especially, the mandible.

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