Definitions

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

  • n. The lower jaw of a vertebrate animal.
  • n. Either the upper or lower part of the beak in birds.
  • n. Any of various mouth organs of invertebrates used for seizing and biting food, especially either of a pair of such organs in insects and other arthropods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The lower jaw, especially the lower jawbone.
  • n. One of a pair of mouthparts of an arthropod designed for holding food.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The bone, or principal bone, of the lower jaw; the inferior maxilla; -- also applied to either the upper or the lower jaw in the beak of birds.
  • n. The anterior pair of mouth organs of insects, crustaceaus, and related animals, whether adapted for biting or not. See Illust. of Diptera.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In zoöl, and anatomy, a jaw-bone; a jaw, or the jaw-bone and associate parts; especially, the under jaw.
  • Demandable.
  • n. In polyzoans, an operculum.

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

  • n. the jaw in vertebrates that is hinged to open the mouth

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin mandibula, from Latin mandere, to chew.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin mandibula. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Results presented call into question differences in mandible shape recently used to distinguish Gigantopithecus giganteus from Gigantopithecus blacki and to justify resurrecting a different generic designation, "Indopithecus," for the former.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Distracters, the media, and the debunkers in this current onslaught against the discovery are completely ignoring the evidence of the possibly nine Homo floresiensis individuals discovered at the site, says Brown. “There are no modern humans with the postcranial dimensions of Homo floresiensis and the second mandible is well outside the range of human variation, ” Brown told Cryptomundo.

    Boing Boing: May 21, 2006 - May 27, 2006 Archives

  • Finally, a complete mandible is known for the Hungarian azhdarchid Bakonydraco.

    Archive 2006-04-01

  • Nor is it more difficult to discern that, in the appendages of the tail, the middle division appears again and the outer vanishes; while, on the other hand, in the foremost jaw, the so-called mandible, the inner division only is left; and, in the same way, the parts of the feelers and of the eye-stalks can be identified with those of the legs and jaws.

    Essays

  • The lower mandible, which is powerful, and is indented at its point to receive the hook, has a very sharp edge, which, with that of the upper mandible, constitutes a pair of formidable shears.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 829, November 21, 1891

  • The upper mandible, which is strongly convex, exhibits upon its median line a slight ridge, which is quite wide at its origin, and then continues to decrease and becomes sensibly depressed as far as to the center of its length, and afterward rises on approaching the anterior extremity, where it terminates in a powerful hook, which seems to form

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 829, November 21, 1891

  • Correlated with this peculiarity the maxilla usually has the tomia sinuated, and is generally concave, and smaller and narrower than the mandible, which is also concave to receive the palatal knob.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 "Bulgaria" to "Calgary"

  • On the body of the mandible is a median ridge, indicating the position of the symphysis; this ridge divides below to enclose the mental protuberance, the lateral angles of which constitute the mental tubercles.

    II. Osteology. 5c. The Exterior of the Skull

  • The manner in which they eat the roots of the plaintain in the grass walk is very curious; with their upper mandible, which is much larger than the lower, they bore under the plant, and so eat the root off upward, leaving the tuft of leaves untouched.

    Our Friend John Burroughs

  • The upper mandible, which is convex in other birds, is flattened in the flamingo, whilst the lower, instead of being flat, is convex.

    Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon

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