1. a jaw, especially the lower jaw.
  2. the cheek.


  1. a fold of flesh hanging from the jaw, as of a very fat person.
  2. the meat of the cheek of a hog.
  3. the dewlap of cattle.
  4. the wattle of fowls.


  1. the jaw, esp the lower one
  2. (often plural) a cheek, esp a prominent one
  3. cheek by jowl See cheek (def. 7)


  1. fatty flesh hanging from the lower jaw
  2. a similar fleshy part in animals, such as the wattle of a fowl or the dewlap of a bull

“jaw,” 1570s, alteration of Middle English chawl (late 14c.), chavel (early 14c.), from Old English ceafl, from Proto-Germanic *kefalaz (cf. Middle High German kiver, German kiefer, Old Norse kjoptr “jaw,” Danish kæft, Flemish kavel, Dutch kevel “gum”), from PIE *gep(h)- “jaw, mouth” (cf. Old Irish gop, Irish gob “beak, mouth”). The change from ch- to j- has not been explained.


“fold of flesh under the jaw,” 1590s, alteration of Middle English cholle “fold of flesh hanging from the jaw” (c.1300), perhaps from Old English ceole “throat,” from PIE *gwele- “to swallow” (see glut). This word and jowl (n.1) influenced one another in form and sense.

see cheek by jowl.

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