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 However, in the complicated jigsaw of Israeli politics, winning the support of an Arab party could alienate other Jewish parties, meaning would-be leaders might gain support from one direction only to lose it in another. NBC News, "Netanyahu's corruption trial opens as Israel grapples with fourth stalemate election," 5 Apr. 2021 Celebrate the day by pulling out a favorite jigsaw, or trying a crossword, Sudoku or brain teaser. Washington Post, "Celebrate these unusual holidays to make 2021 even more fun," 4 Jan. 2021 Many have turned to puzzles during the pandemic, so with National Puzzle Day set for Jan. 29, the Center invites people to exercise their brains with a crossword jigsaw or Sudoku puzzle. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "North Olmsted Senior Center finds ways to keep members engaged: A Place in the Sun," 19 Jan. 2021 Near the beginning of 2019, Eureka Puzzles bought the jigsaw from Ravensburger, a German puzzlemaker, to add to its collection of more than 5,000 items. Kyle Melnick Washington Post, Star Tribune, "A giant, collaborative puzzle helped occupy participants during lockdown," 16 Oct. 2020 But in reconstructing the tectonic jigsaw and tracking where fossils have been uncovered, paleontologists have found dinosaurs that lived near both the northern and southern poles at different times. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Dinosaurs Thrived in the Snow," 3 Dec. 2020 Puzzles bought the jigsaw from Ravensburger, a German puzzlemaker, to add to its collection of more than 5,000 items. Washington Post, "A giant, collaborative puzzle helped occupy participants during lockdown," 6 Oct. 2020 A few months ago, Ravensburger sent another 40,000-piece jigsaw to Eureka Puzzles — this one featuring Mickey Mouse photos through the decades. Kyle Melnick Washington Post, Star Tribune, "A giant, collaborative puzzle helped occupy participants during lockdown," 16 Oct. 2020 The species — aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle — owes its might to an unusual armor that is layered and pieced together like a jigsaw, according to the study by Zavattieri and his colleagues published in Nature on Wednesday. Marion Renault, Star Tribune, "Can't crush this: Beetle armor gives clues to tougher planes," 21 Oct. 2020 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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Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jigsaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jigsaw. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

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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