Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The mouth, stomach, jaws, or gullet of a voracious animal, especially a carnivore.
  • noun The opening into something felt to be insatiable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A dialectal (Scotch) form of mow.
  • noun The stomach: now used of human beings only in contempt, and rarely of animals.
  • noun The crop or craw of a fowl.
  • noun The sound or air-bladder of a fish.
  • noun Stomach; appetite; inclination.
  • noun A dialectal (Scotch) form of mew.
  • noun An old game at cards, played with a piquet pack of thirty-six cards by any number of persons from two to six.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An old game at cards.
  • noun A stomach; the receptacle into which food is taken by swallowing; in birds, the craw; -- now used only of the lower animals, exept humorously or in contempt.
  • noun obsolete Appetite; inclination.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See under Fish.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A gull.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun dialect, colloquial Mother.
  • noun archaic the stomach, especially of an animal
  • noun the upper digestive tract (where food enters the body), especially the mouth and jaws of a ravenous creature.
  • noun any great, insatiable or perilous opening.

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

  • noun informal terms for the mouth

Etymologies

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

[Middle English mawe, from Old English maga.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

By shortening of mother

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English mawe, from Old English maga ("stomach, maw"), from Proto-Germanic *magô (“belly, stomach”), from Proto-Indo-European *mak-, *maks- (“bag, bellows, belly”). Cognate with Dutch maag ("stomach, belly"), German Magen ("stomach"), Swedish mage ("stomach, belly"), with Welsh megin ("bellows"), Russian мошна (mošná, "pocket, bag"), Lithuanian mãkas ("purse").

Examples

  • His maw was the only one heard him walk the floor nights, and after he found, out she could hear him he walked in his socks.

    In the Arena Stories of Political Life

  • To do this is called maw-pak, and hence the game gets its name, maw-pak bae-ang.

    Through Central Borneo; an Account of Two Years' Travel in the Land of Head-Hunters Between the Years 1913 and 1917

  • To rebuke the seed is to forbid its growing. your -- literally, "for you"; that is, to your hurt. dung of ... solemn feasts -- The dung in the maw of the victims sacrificed on the feast days; the maw was the perquisite of the priests

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Ah! that one has got hold of a tiny shrimp, and is tucking it into his hungry maw, which is just in the middle of its flower-like body.

    Ernest Bracebridge School Days

  • Maw might be a bit archaic nowadays; in the Anglo-Saxon leechbooks "maw" seems to refer to the stomach more than the mouth, though I take it to mean the digestive tract from mouth to stomach.

    Archive 2005-12-01

  • Maw might be a bit archaic nowadays; in the Anglo-Saxon leechbooks "maw" seems to refer to the stomach more than the mouth, though I take it to mean the digestive tract from mouth to stomach.

    More on Maugrim

  • First he transferred Eddie's ammunition to his own person, and such valuables and trinkets as he thought "maw" might be glad to have, then he removed the breechblock from

    The Mucker

  • If a man wants to be famous, he had much better try the advertising doctor than the terrible editor, whose waste-basket is a maw which is as insatiable as the temporary stomach of Jack the

    Over the Teacups

  • If a man wants to be famous, he had much better try the advertising doctor than the terrible editor, whose waste-basket is a maw which is as insatiable as the temporary stomach of Jack the Giant-killer.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Works

  • Hmmm. Crystal would receive points (if a point system had been used in the judging) for her use of the word 'maw'.

    Lust Bites

Comments

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  • I like this word best when used with gaping, as a synonym for the opening through which food is taken in and vocalizations emerge. Otherwise known as piehole.

    August 27, 2008

  • You'd probably like Gaping Maws then.

    June 8, 2009

  • bilby, how could you?

    June 8, 2009

  • Penguins make the bravest dentists.

    June 8, 2009

  • *maw agape*

    June 8, 2009

  • "Through a window, an open coking furnace, a 20 foot high maw of fire, appeared to sail by." NYTimes article "A Ukraine Factory that Can't Close and Workers who Won't Quit" on 25March2015

    March 25, 2015