seesaw

noun
see·​saw | \ ˈsē-ˌsȯ How to pronounce seesaw (audio) \

Definition of seesaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an alternating up-and-down or backward-and-forward motion or movement also : a contest or struggle in which now one side now the other has the lead
2a : a pastime in which two children or groups of children ride on opposite ends of a plank balanced in the middle so that one end goes up as the other goes down
b : the plank or apparatus so used

seesaw

verb
seesawed; seesawing; seesaws

Definition of seesaw (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to move backward and forward or up and down
b : to play at seesaw
2 : alternate seesaw between two activities

transitive verb

: to cause to move in seesaw fashion

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Other Words from seesaw

Noun

seesaw adjective

Synonyms for seesaw

Synonyms: Verb

careen, lurch, pitch, rock, roll, sway, toss, wobble (also wabble)

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Examples of seesaw in a Sentence

Noun

Their relationship was an emotional seesaw.

Verb

The lead seesawed between the two runners right up to the finish line. as their boat seesawed in the rough water, the rescue team tried to get the passengers off the sinking ship
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The perennial seesaw of Argentina’s political and economic fortunes has pitched the South American country into more upheaval after an overwhelming primary election loss for the government of President Mauricio Macri. Washington Post, "AP Explains: A look at Argentine turmoil after primary vote," 12 Aug. 2019 There are multistory seesaws, narrow high-speed passes, and other obstacles that could easily result in injury or death. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Charlize Theron Promises 'Dizziness, Nail Biting and Yelling at Your' TV on New Show Hyperdrive," 4 Sep. 2019 Its marquee feature is the Leveler, a massive seesaw that the drivers must go up and balance by moving their car back and forth, before racing down. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Netflix's Hyperdrive Is American Ninja Warrior for Cars," 21 Aug. 2019 There are multistory seesaws, narrow high-speed passes and other obstacles that could easily result in injury or death. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Need for Speed: How I Raced Cars on the Set of Hyperdrive, Netflix's New Reality Show," 23 Aug. 2019 Last month, an artist installed three pink seesaws though a border wall that separates El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Washington Post, "Interactive border wall mural tells stories of deported," 10 Aug. 2019 Their idea finally came to life at an event Monday in Sunland Park, New Mexico, when three bright pink seesaws or teeter-totters were added to the giant steel border wall. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "California professors install seesaws along U.S.-Mexico border wall," 30 July 2019 Teetering up and down on a seesaw, racing across the monkey bars, climbing up a jungle gym—they're all thrills many of us take for granted. Megan Uy, House Beautiful, "There's An Indoor Park For Children With Disabilities All Thanks To This Japanese Architect," 14 Aug. 2019 Last month, an artist installed three pink seesaws though a border wall that separates El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Elliot Spagat, USA TODAY, "A US veteran, mothers of kids born in America: This interactive border wall mural tells stories of deported," 11 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If an aim of congressional Democrats had been to present the public with a clear and convincing view of presidential misconduct, this seesawing from one sympathetic Democrat to the next Republican inquisitor will not have helped. The Economist, "Impeachment looks even less likely now than before Robert Mueller’s testimony," 25 July 2019 Markets in the region have seesawed because of unease about the state of trade relations. Laura He, CNN, "Asian markets rally after China's trade comments soothe nerves," 29 Aug. 2019 The two teams seesawed, trading points up to 30-30 before Latin closed out the match-tying set on a Winchester hitting error and a Miroslaw Wierzbicki tip kill. Brandon Chase, BostonGlobe.com, "Winchester tops Boston Latin for boys’ volleyball North title," 12 June 2019 This seesawing may have tipped in favor of gamma in a study published July 18 in Neuron. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "“Metronome” Neurons Act Like Timekeepers in Mouse Brains," 18 July 2019 But the Giants seesawed back into the lead on Vogt's fifth-inning homer after Slater's infield hit. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants complete crushing four-game sweep of Rockies, return home six wins richer," 17 July 2019 The unveiling of The Nightingale, far from the horrors of the director’s modern genre classic, proved to be a seesawing affair. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Nightingale director knows the film is 'a very tough experience.' That's the point.," 11 July 2019 Stocks opened strong on Monday, and have seesawed since as investors search for direction as trade tensions overhang the market. Washington Post, "Chipmakers, trade fears drag down stocks; Facebook gains," 14 June 2019 But at the same time, viewers are kept on the edge of their seats, thanks to the decision by the filmmakers (Kirk Wolfinger was the director) to seesaw back and forth between 1945 and 2017, leaving each of the separate episodes on a cliffhanger. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘USS Indianapolis: The Final Chapter’ Review: The Depths of Tragedy," 3 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seesaw.' 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 seesaw

Noun

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1709, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for seesaw

Noun

probably from reduplication of saw entry 3

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Statistics for seesaw

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seesaw

The first known use of seesaw was in 1704

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More Definitions for seesaw

seesaw

noun

English Language Learners Definition of seesaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, flat board that is balanced in the middle so that when one end goes up the other end goes down
: a situation in which something keeps changing from one state to another and back again

seesaw

verb

English Language Learners Definition of seesaw (Entry 2 of 2)

: to keep changing from one state or condition to another and then back again

seesaw

noun
see·​saw | \ ˈsē-ˌsȯ How to pronounce seesaw (audio) \

Kids Definition of seesaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a plank for children to play on that is balanced in the middle on a raised bar with one end going up while the other goes down
2 : a situation in which something keeps changing from one state to another and back again

seesaw

verb
seesawed; seesawing

Kids Definition of seesaw (Entry 2 of 2)

: to keep changing from one state to another and back again

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More from Merriam-Webster on seesaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seesaw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seesaw

Spanish Central: Translation of seesaw

Nglish: Translation of seesaw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seesaw for Arabic Speakers

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