jig·​saw | \ˈjig-ˌsȯ \

Definition of jigsaw 

(Entry 1 of 3)

2 : a light portable electric saw with a vertically reciprocating blade that is used especially for cutting curves


jigsawed; jigsawing; jigsaws

Definition of jigsaw (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cut or form by or as if by a jigsaw

2 : to arrange or place in an intricate or interlocking way



Definition of jigsaw (Entry 3 of 3)

: suggesting a jigsaw puzzle or its separate pieces

Examples of jigsaw in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Use a jigsaw to cut out the front door and the spaces between the slats that will form the vent in the back. Duane Bruton, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Litter Box (That Actually Looks Nice)," 25 Apr. 2018 Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a summer move for Real Madrid star Toni Kroos, with Old Trafford boss Jose Mourinho said to view the German World Cup winner as the final piece of the midfield jigsaw alongside Paul Pogba. SI.com, "Man Utd Linked With Ambitious Fresh Swoop for Real Madrid Midfield Linchpin Toni Kroos," 29 June 2018 With that in mind, Anderson could become the first piece of the jigsaw as Pellegrini looks to assemble a side capable of pushing for Europa League qualification. SI.com, "West Ham Launch £35m Offer for Lazio Winger as Manuel Pellegrini Targets Attacking Reinforcements," 1 June 2018 Someone damaged a door lock to enter a car parked in the 300 block of Home Avenue and stole a Bosch rotary hammer, a Milwaukee Sawzall and a Bosch jigsaw valued at $1,105 between 11 a.m. and noon May 10. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "Police: Bellwood man charged with aggravated battery against Oak Park police officer," 18 May 2018 Philippe Coutinho has fitted in nicely as the third piece of the front line jigsaw alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. SI.com, "Liverpool on Alert as Report Claims Barcelona Are Sounding Out Clubs Over Unsettled Forward," 17 May 2018 The Detroit Training Center on Lorraine Street, just west of Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood, is a separate entity from MeritHall, but the group views it as a necessary piece of the construction jigsaw. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Meet the guys staffing Detroit's small but important development projects," 5 May 2018 Using a modified Roomba with a jigsaw attached, AutoSaw can cut lumber to any shape or size. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Robot Carpenters Are Coming," 28 Feb. 2018 The inside of the van was splattered with blood, and a chainsaw and jigsaw were soaking in water. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Lynching 2.0: White Family Charged With Murdering 2 Black Men, Dismembering Bodies," 2 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The transition from a team with three NBA talents to a squad jigsawed around Pritchard has had its ups and downs. Tyson Alger, OregonLive.com, "As Ducks prepare for Civil War, Oregon seeks what Oregon State has," 4 Jan. 2018 Taking care not to violate Supreme Court guidelines on minority representation, lawmakers jigsawed Texas into shapes that would decisively capture the state for the right. Michelle Legro, Longreads, "What’s the Matter With Texas? How Long Do You Have?," 13 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The cloth is cut into jigsaw-like pieces that’ll eventually become jeans, and then left to sit overnight so the fabric can shrink to the right size. Tara Lamont-djite, Marie Claire, "Why You Should Invest In These AG Jeans," 2 May 2018 All of the sadness and dejection that the West Germans caused back in '82 had been washed away by the final piece of the jigsaw slotting in seamlessly. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 9 Weeks to Go - France's Magnificent Midfield Quartet, Le Carré Magique," 19 Apr. 2018 Items reported stolen included nail guns, a chainsaw, router table, power saw, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, saber saw, folding table, lock jaw table, hand planer, drill and pneumatic wrench. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood police: 6-year-old hit-and-run victim making progress," 9 Apr. 2018 One of the biggest inquiries had to do with the fact that poverty tax exemptions — while a piece of the tax foreclosures jigsaw — are not retroactive. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Homeowner to homeless: The brutal reality of the Detroit foreclosure auction," 3 Nov. 2017 The Red Wings hockey ice will remain on the floor, with the Pistons basketball court installed on top of it jigsaw fashion, easily installed and removed. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Little Caesars Arena: Welcome to Detroit's new playground," 5 Sep. 2017 There are dedicated people with cumulative decades of experience—and panache for geeky math—who are juggling demands from many different corners, and who work to optimize a schedule that makes the jigsaw pieces fit. Allison Hope, CNT, "The Complex Process Behind Your Flight's Schedule," 18 Aug. 2017 Cut the resulting parabola out with a jigsaw to form the mouth of your bootjack. Teddy Boxberger, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Bootjack," 2 Aug. 2017 The final big piece of the friendly jigsaw puzzle was a bit of schedule juggling by FC Cincinnati. Patrick Brennan, The Courier-Journal, "How FC Cincinnati booked a marquee friendly against Valencia CF," 21 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jigsaw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of jigsaw


1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1909, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near jigsaw





jigsaw puzzle



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Time Traveler for jigsaw

The first known use of jigsaw was in 1873

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More Definitions for jigsaw



English Language Learners Definition of jigsaw

: a machine that has a narrow blade for cutting curved lines in thin pieces of wood, metal, plastic, etc.


jig·​saw | \ˈjig-ˌsȯ \

Kids Definition of jigsaw

: a machine saw used to cut curved and irregular lines or openwork patterns

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by force of circumstances

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