saw

1 of 4

past tense of see

saw

2 of 4

noun (1)

: a hand or power tool or a machine used to cut hard material (such as wood, metal, or bone) and equipped usually with a toothed blade or disk
sawlike adjective

saw

3 of 4

verb

sawed ˈsȯd How to pronounce saw (audio) ; sawed or sawn ˈsȯn How to pronounce saw (audio) ; sawing ˈsȯ(-)iŋ How to pronounce saw (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to cut with a saw
2
: to produce or form by cutting with a saw
3
: to slash as though with a saw

intransitive verb

1
a
: to use a saw
b
: to cut with or as if with a saw
2
: to undergo cutting with a saw
3
: to make motions as though using a saw
sawed at the reins
sawer noun

saw

4 of 4

noun

Examples of saw in a Sentence

Verb He sawed the boards in half. This blade is too dull for sawing. Noun it's an old saw that a red sunset presages fair skies the next day
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Among the objects found were a chest, rope, pieces of wood, an amphorae and a saw, officials said. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 6 June 2024 Experts carefully remove the entire 4,000-pound wall using a saw before taking it back to the Stanley for conservation. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 May 2024 At the lakeside, the sound of a saw grinding against stone filled the air. Emily Brindley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 21 May 2024 The next day, another search was done and law enforcement recovered a saw, a box cutter, more blood and bloody clothing, according to officials. Jennifer Rodriguez, Kansas City Star, 20 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for saw 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'saw.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English sagh, sawe, going back to Old English sagu (strong feminine noun), going back to Germanic *sagō (whence also Middle Dutch sage "saw," Old High German saga, Old Icelandic sǫg) beside *segō (whence Middle Dutch sege "saw," Old High German sega), noun derivatives from a dialectal Indo-European verbal base *sek- "cut," whence also Middle Irish tescaid "(s/he) cuts, severs" (regularized from a presumed verb doˑesc, perhaps from *to-eks-sk-), Latin secō, secāre "to cut, sever, make an incision," Old Church Slavic sěkǫ, sěšti "to cut down, fell, hew," Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian sijèčēm, sjȅći "to cut, chop, hew"

Note: The base *sek- is peculiar to northwest (or European) Indo-European, being attested in Celtic, Italic, Germanic, and Slavic; *sek- is perhaps ultimately the same base as *skeh2-, *skh2- "cut open, flay"; see etymology and note at science.

Verb

Middle English sawen, derivative of sawe saw entry 2

Noun

Middle English sawe, from Old English sagu discourse; akin to Old High German & Old Norse saga tale, Old English secgan to say — more at say entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of saw was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near saw

Cite this Entry

“Saw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saw. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

saw

1 of 4

past of see

saw

2 of 4 noun
: a hand or power tool or a machine used to cut hard material and equipped usually with a tooth-edged blade

saw

3 of 4 verb
sawed ˈsȯd How to pronounce saw (audio) ; sawed or sawn ˈsȯn How to pronounce saw (audio) ; sawing ˈsȯ(-)iŋ How to pronounce saw (audio)
: to cut or shape with a saw

saw

4 of 4 noun
: a common saying : proverb

Medical Definition

saw

1 of 2

past of see

saw

2 of 2 noun
: a hand or power tool used to cut hard material (as bone) and equipped usually with a toothed blade or disk

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