saw·​fish ˈsȯ-ˌfish How to pronounce sawfish (audio)
: any of a family (Pristidae) of large elongate rays that resemble sharks but have a long flattened snout with a row of serrate structures along each edge and that live in tropical and subtropical shallow seas and in or near the mouths of rivers

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Two dead leopard sharks, a dead hammerhead shark, and the snout of a smalltooth sawfish -- an endangered species -- were also found in the search. Maria Morava And Scottie Andrew, CNN, 18 Mar. 2021 The search also uncovered two dead leopard sharks, one dead hammerhead shark and the snout of a smalltooth sawfish, an endangered species, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, 17 Mar. 2021 Amazingly enough, the sawfish’s snout is not unique. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 5 Mar. 2012 Populations of smalltooth sawfish plummeted in the second half of the 20th century due to two primary factors: habitat loss and bycatch. Courtney Linder, Gloria Dawson, Dan Shapley, Popular Mechanics, 5 Jan. 2023 Highlights include the oldest aquatic animal on exhibit in the world (Granddad the lungfish), an abundance of marine mammals, a wobbegong and a sawfish, and—my personal favorites—several species of lionfishes. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 25 Feb. 2014 Unlike previous studies of extinct and current sawfish, this one probed the internal structure of the scales’ hard outer layer, called enameloid. Daniel Leonard, Scientific American, 23 Nov. 2022 Soon, there was a bite on the line and Atherton watched a sawfish come out of the water. Ed Killer, USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2022 More than 50,000 marine creatures call the property home, with eight million gallons of water containing sawfish, barracudas, reef sharks, and a wealth of other aquatic species. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, 27 June 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1635, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sawfish was in 1635

Dictionary Entries Near sawfish

Cite this Entry

“Sawfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


saw·​fish ˈsȯ-ˌfish How to pronounce sawfish (audio)
: any of several mostly tropical rays that resemble sharks but have a long flat snout with sharp toothlike structures along both edges

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