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

Examples of sawfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The sawfish, which are endangered and reliably found only in southernmost Florida, started dying. Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, 15 Apr. 2024 Federal and state wildlife agencies are beginning an effort to rescue and rehabilitate sawfish to find out why. Maria Piñero, NBC News, 30 Mar. 2024 As of Friday, the official number of dead sawfish in the Keys since Jan. 29 is 38, according to Florida’s fish and wildlife commission, known as the FWC. David Goodhue, Miami Herald, 12 Apr. 2024 Some sawfish, too, have been spotted spinning before dying. Jen Christensen, CNN, 12 Apr. 2024 Additional sawfish tissues are still being processed for analysis, according to the FWC, which sent 52 fish, including and 12 smalltooth sawfish to University of South Alabama for analyses. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 29 Mar. 2024 Biologists with multiple agencies and universities are investigating if the deaths of the sawfish are related to the broader fish kill. David Goodhue, Miami Herald, 28 Mar. 2024 Researchers found a population of small tooth sawfish in Florida that’s just barely hanging on, Feldheim said. Evan Bush, NBC News, 29 Feb. 2024 However, sharks and other elasmobranchs—a group of cartilaginous fish including rays, skates and sawfish—are very sensitive to electric fields. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2023

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

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 25 May. 2024.

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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