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[maw] /mɔ/
the mouth, throat, or gullet of an animal, especially a carnivorous mammal.
the crop or craw of a fowl.
the stomach, especially that of an animal.
a cavernous opening that resembles the open jaws of an animal:
the gaping maw of hell.
the symbolic or theoretical center of a voracious hunger or appetite of any kind:
the ravenous maw of Death.
Origin of maw1
before 900; Middle English mawe, Old English maga; cognate with Dutch maag, German Magen, Old Norse magi
Can be confused
mall, maul, maw.


[maw] /mɔ/
noun, Informal.
variant of ma Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for maw
  • It carries nostalgia to where sentiment finally engulfs it in its sickly maw.
  • The money then disappears into the general maw of public spending, rather than being used to provide drivers with alternatives.
  • We know without asking that he's searching for the sinister maw of our whirlpool.
  • At last count, roughly a dozen celebrity magazines filled newsstands in a bid to feed the maw of a gossip-hungry public.
  • Apparently the guy had been in several accidents while stuffing his maw.
  • The basking shark's giant, gaping maw makes it look far more dangerous than it is, but it's still a shark.
  • The cavernous maw which had enveloped the players in practice now seemed to be turbulent with life.
  • Second, that fat lip would make it impossible to get anything but the biggest chunks of junk into the bucket's handsome maw.
  • Contrary to myth, the major danger from a tornado is not being sucked into the maw of the storm.
  • We bout to fill that deep white maw what's felt real empty way too long.
British Dictionary definitions for maw


the mouth, throat, crop, or stomach of an animal, esp of a voracious animal
(informal) the mouth or stomach of a greedy person
Word Origin
Old English maga; related to Middle Dutch maghe, Old Norse magi
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for maw

Old English maga "stomach" (of men and animals; in Modern English only of animals unless insultingly), from Proto-Germanic *magon "bag, stomach" (cf. Old Frisian maga, Old Norse magi, Danish mave, Middle Dutch maghe, Dutch maag, Old High German mago, German Magen "stomach"), from PIE *mak- "leather bag" (cf. Welsh megin "bellows," Lithuanian makas, Old Church Slavonic mošina "bag, pouch"). Meaning "throat, gullet" is from 1520s. Metaphoric of voracity from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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