1 [joul, johl]

before 1000; Middle English chawl, chavell, Old English ceafl jaw; cognate with Dutch kevel, German Kiefer, Old Norse kjaptr

jowled, adjective Unabridged


2 [joul, johl]
a fold of flesh hanging from the jaw, as of a very fat person.
the meat of the cheek of a hog.
the dewlap of cattle.
the wattle of fowls.
Also, jole.

1275–1325; Middle English cholle, Old English ceole throat; cognate with German Kehle throat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
jowl1 (dʒaʊl)
1.  the jaw, esp the lower one
2.  (often plural) a cheek, esp a prominent one
3.  cheek by jowl See cheek
[Old English ceafl jaw; related to Middle High German kivel, Old Norse kjaptr]

jowl2 (dʒaʊl)
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
[Old English ceole throat; compare Old High German kela]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1577, from M.E. cholle "fold of flesh hanging from the jaw" (c.1320), perhaps related to O.E. ceole "throat" (cognate of O.Ir. gop, Ir. gob "beak, mouth"). A slightly different jowl, meaning "jaw," evolved from O.E. ceafl, from P.Gmc. *kaflaz (cf. Ger. kiefer, O.N. kjaptr "jaw," Flem. kavel, Du. kevel
"gum"), and the two words influenced one another in form and sense. The change from ch- to j- has not been explained.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

jowl 1 (joul)

  1. The jaw, especially the lower jaw.

  2. The cheek.

jowl 2
The flesh under the lower jaw, especially when plump or flaccid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see cheek by jowl.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The foundation's staff of twenty-five worked cheek by jowl out of a small two-story building.
As was the case in my town, buildings were built cheek by jowl, and filled with combustible materials.
Living cheek-by-jowl with one's neighbors imposes changes in one's behavior.
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