jig·​saw | \ ˈjig-ˌsȯ How to pronounce jigsaw (audio) \

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 For recreational puzzle enthusiasts, taking on a particularly tricky jigsaw might be associated with the most relaxing period of their year. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "How A Jigsaw Puzzle Startup Is Helping Female Artists Get Paid Right Now," 17 Apr. 2020 Use a handsaw or jigsaw to cut through the last bit of wood to free the waste piece. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build Stairs in 3 Easy Steps," 11 Jan. 2020 This jigsaw is tougher than the average option with 759 pieces and is best suited for puzzlers 12 and older. Tony Vaz, Popular Science, "Just six awesome jigsaw puzzles for all ages," 23 Jan. 2020 This annual pastime gives me huge appreciation for paleontologists, since even the hardest jigsaw challenge usually comes with a picture of what the thing should look like when you’re done. Babak Tafreshi, National Geographic, "How do you re-create a prehistoric monster?," 18 Dec. 2019 Following a subsequent report published last month on land use and farming, the IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere — or 'frozen world' — was the final piece in a scientific jigsaw revealing the global sweep of climate impacts. NBC News, "Cut emissions to avert catastrophic sea-level rise, U.N. study finds," 25 Sep. 2019 The 500-piece jigsaw will be available on December 30th. Alicia Kortendick, cleveland, "How to get Baby Yoda toys and merch of the Internet’s favorite ‘Mandalorian’ character," 6 Dec. 2019 Instead, the Kurds ended up within the borders of five other nations, a tapestry cut by a jigsaw. Time, "'No Friends But the Mountains.' What Life Looks Like for the Kurds of Syria, Now That the U.S. Has Pulled Back," 14 Nov. 2019 Parenting is more like an enchanted labyrinth than a static jigsaw. Washington Post, "What shaving my daughter’s head taught me about acceptance and self-love," 13 Nov. 2019 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 Over billions of years this process has created a moon covered in what looks like jigsaw pieces. Shannon Stirone, Wired, "Space Photos of the Week: Europa! Attempt No Landing There," 9 May 2020 My mother parceled out the sins of my father, like jigsaw pieces, spread out over too many years. Robin Antalek, Longreads, "The Bigamist’s Daughter," 22 Apr. 2020 Cutting at up to 3,300 strokes per minute, this jigsaw works through wood up to 4.25 inches thick and metal up to 3/8 inches thick. Popular Science, "The best jigsaws for your next project," 17 Apr. 2020 The lawn is that bright-green ryegrass with brown jigsaw pieces where somebody sprayed ant poison. Lee Durkee, Harper's Magazine, "Ride or Die," 30 Mar. 2020 To properly satisfy, a twister's jigsaw pieces must be assembled with some care and precision. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 15 Nov. 2019 Along with jigsaw ice fields and scouring winds, Aston grappled with two months of solitude and self-doubt on her ground-breaking ski trip across Antarctica. Jen Rose Smith, Condé Nast Traveler, "11 Travel Memoirs Written by Some of the World’s Most Adventurous Women," 18 Oct. 2019 The whole story of the issue is overseen by Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing and editor Tom Brevoort, who can be trusted to turn such a jigsaw issue into a fascinating mystery. Christian Holub, EW.com, "5 comics to read this August: Epic battles on fallen worlds," 2 Aug. 2019 Neanderthal jigsaw Past research had suggested that Neanderthals seemed to be genetically well mixed, interbreeding across Europe and into Asia. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Ancient DNA reveals new twists in Neanderthal migration," 26 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for jigsaw

Time Traveler

The first known use of jigsaw was in 1873

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Cite this Entry

“Jigsaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jigsaw. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for jigsaw


How to pronounce jigsaw (audio)

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 How to pronounce jigsaw (audio) \

Kids Definition of jigsaw

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on jigsaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jigsaw

Spanish Central: Translation of jigsaw

Nglish: Translation of jigsaw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jigsaw for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jigsaw

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