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Denotation vs. Connotation

slack-jawed

[slak-jawd] /ˈslækˈdʒɔd/
adjective
1.
having the mouth open, especially as an indication of astonishment, bewilderment, etc.
Origin of slack-jawed
slack jaw + -ed3
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for slack-jawed
Historical Examples
  • It was Lee, leaning, slack-jawed, against a pillar and reading the Green Sheet.

    The Syndic C.M. Kornbluth
  • Pillbot stared from the visible portion of Gault to slack-jawed Harper and back again, sweat splashing from his puffy face.

    The 4-D Doodler Graph Waldeyer
  • "Fill your belly," he said, grinning at the youth's slack-jawed expression.

    The Return of Tharn Howard Carleton Browne
  • He turned and fixed a cold, commanding eye upon the slack-jawed herders.

    Flying U Ranch B. M. Bower
  • Hang up, some of you, and make wax for these slack-jawed sisters.

    Actions and Reactions Rudyard Kipling
Contemporary definitions for slack-jawed
adjective

having the mouth open, esp. in surprise

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for slack-jawed
adj.

1882, "over-talkative," from slack-jaw (n.) "impertinent language" (1797), from slack (adj.) + jaw (n.). Meaning "open-mouthed and speechless" from astonishment, stupidity, etc., is from 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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