Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Anatomy Either of a pair of bones of the human skull fusing in the midline and forming the upper jaw.
  • n. A homologous bone of the skull in other vertebrates.
  • n. Either of two laterally moving appendages situated behind the mandibles in insects and most other arthropods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of the two bones that together form the upper jaw.
  • n. Arachnid mouthpart

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. The bone of either the upper or the under jaw.
  • n. The bone, or principal bone, of the upper jaw, the bone of the lower jaw being the mandible.
  • n. One of the lower or outer jaws of arthropods.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy and zoology: A jaw or jaw-bone; a maxillary bone; especially, a bone of the upper jaw, as distinguished from the mandible.
  • n. Specifically, the supramaxillary bone proper, as distinguished from the premaxillary or intermaxillary, which is often fused therewith in the higher vertebrates.
  • n. In entomology, as in insects and arachnidans, one of the second pair of gnathites; either one, right and left, of the second or lower pair of horizontal jaws, next behind or below the mandibles.
  • n. In Crustacea, the right or left one of either of the two pairs of gnathites which come next after the mandibles, between these and the maxillipeds. The maxillæ of a crustacean thus correspond to those of an insect, but there is an additional pair of them.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the jaw in vertebrates that is fused to the cranium

Etymologies

Latin, jawbone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin maxilla ("jaw"), a diminutive of māla ("jaw"). (Wiktionary)

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