AskDefine | Define maw

Dictionary Definition

maw n : informal terms for the mouth [syn: trap, cakehole, hole, yap, gob]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /mɔː/, /mO:/
  • Rhymes: -ɔː

Etymology 1

Old English maga, from Germanic *magē-, from Indo-European *mak- ‘bag, belly’. Cognate with Dutch maag, German Magen, Swedish mage; and (from Indo-European) with Welsh megin ‘bellows’, Russian мошна ‘pocket, bag’, Lithuanian mãkas ‘purse’.


  1. the stomach, especially of an animal
    1667: So Death shall be deceav'd his glut, and with us two / Be forc'd to satisfie his Rav'nous Maw. — Milton, Paradise Lost, Book X
  2. the upper digestive tract (where food enters the body), especially the mouth and jaws of a ravenous creature.
    1818: To save poor lambkins from the eagle's maw — Keats, Endymion
  3. any great, insatiable or perilous opening.

Etymology 2

By shortening of mother


  1. dialect colloquial Mother.

Extensive Definition

Maw may refer to:


  • The stomach or mouth, usually of an animal
  • A fish's gas bladder (swim bladder)
  • Abomasum, the fourth stomach of a ruminant



See also

maw in Italian: MAW

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abdomen, abomasum, bay window, bazoo, beerbelly, belly, breadbasket, chaps, chops, craw, crop, diaphragm, embonpoint, embouchure, first stomach, gab, gizzard, gob, gullet, gut, honeycomb stomach, jaw, jaws, jowls, kishkes, kisser, lips, mandibles, manyplies, maxilla, midriff, mouth, mug, mush, muzzle, omasum, oral cavity, paunch, pot, potbelly, potgut, premaxilla, psalterium, pusgut, rennet bag, reticulum, rumen, second stomach, spare tire, stomach, swagbelly, third stomach, trap, tum-tum, tummy, underbelly, ventripotence, yap
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