seesaw

noun
see·​saw | \ˈsē-ˌsȯ \

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 transition is complicated by a seesaw in U.S.-Cuba relations. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, "In Cuba, the Castro era ends this week as Raúl steps down as ruler," 17 Apr. 2018 There’s a pretty simple reason industry hates the idea: If one side of the seesaw goes down, the other side must go up. Washington Post, "The Health 202: The Trump administration will allow people to buy cheaper health plans. But they won't have certain Obamacare benefits.," 19 June 2018 In the days prior, the possibility of a three-second kiss turned into a game of intellectual seesaw. Dana Lee, Indianapolis Star, "Northwest senior battles depression, bullying to emerge as valedictorian," 11 June 2018 This looks like a classic spring seesaw kind of weekend. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Warm today, then turning cooler and eventually rainy Sunday," 14 Apr. 2018 The new Sutter-Aetna venture comes after the not-for-profit has seen its operating income seesaw up and down annually over the last five years. Cathie Anderson, sacbee, "Sutter and insurance giant Aetna hire industry veteran to lead joint venture," 20 Mar. 2018 On the sweet-salty seesaw, this ice cream balances perfectly level. 2. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "The best flavors of ice cream at Toscanini’s," 29 May 2018 After repair workers from Conroe Independent School District removed the playground equipment at the school to keep students safe, the children no longer had playhouses to climb or seesaws to jump on. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Parents raise $200,000 for new playground equipment at Buckalew Elementary," 6 June 2018 In what was a consistent seesaw matchup between seniors Pierceson Coody (Plano, Texas) and James Song (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), After three sudden death attempts, Coody shot for par, beating Song by a single stroke on Monday. Aaron Nicholson, azcentral, "Coody wins boys division junior golf title at Thunderbird International," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The price of oil has seesawed after President Trump in May pulled the U.S. out of a 2015 international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program and put sanctions in motion last week. Riva Gold, WSJ, "U.S. Policy Stirs Foreign Markets," 15 Aug. 2018 Wilson, 39, campaigned on a platform of more economic development and infrastructure investment and won by about 1,200 votes, according to unofficial returns, after the lead seesawed throughout the evening. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "Justin Wilson defeats incumbent Alexandria, Va., Mayor Allison Silberberg in primary," 12 June 2018 The Facebook founder's net worth seesawed in during his grilling on Capitol Hill in the wake of the company's Cambridge Analytica data scandal back in April, too. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Here's How Much Mark Zuckerberg Is Really Worth," 26 July 2018 In the statehouse, the debate seesawed back and forth. Fergus M. Bordewich, WSJ, "‘The Woman’s Hour’ Review: Friends and Foes of the 19th Amendment," 21 June 2018 These scenes of professional rivalry and seesawing imbalance are some of McLain’s best. Mameve Medwed, BostonGlobe.com, "Reviving Gellhorn and Hemingway, mostly," 11 May 2018 The questions, for now, are how long that wait will be and whether Bitcoin’s seesawing value can stabilize. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, "Bitcoin is booming in Miami. But can you buy a house with it?," 26 Jan. 2018 The question of whether graduate students at private universities can unionize has seesawed for years, depending, in part, on the political leanings of the members of the National Labor Relations Board. David W. Chen, BostonGlobe.com, "Columbia graduate students walk out over union fight," 25 Apr. 2018 Stocks around the world have seesawed in recent sessions, with analysts pointing to comments on trade from the U.S. and China and mounting tensions with Russia and Syria as sources of market stress. Amrith Ramkumar And Riva Gold, WSJ, "Dow Industrials Slid Amid Geopolitical Tensions, Inflation Data," 11 Apr. 2018

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

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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 \

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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