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
Ninety percent of the lots sold, a figure that’s on par with what Sotheby’s saw in New York during its marquee sales. George Nelson, ARTnews.com, 26 June 2024 Same goes for lidar alternatives like the Clarity system covered by Ars three years ago, which used trigonometry to precisely calculate the distance to every pixel a camera saw. Jacek Krywko, Ars Technica, 7 June 2024 The warehouse around him was filled with the whir of buzz saws and the flashing sparks of welding tools as his coworkers dismantled floats from past years of the iconic Rose Parade. Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2024 For a bit of context, that is a larger TV audience than half of the Super Bowls in the 1990s saw. Tony Maglio, IndieWire, 28 June 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 23 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on saw

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!