Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of saw
Meaning of saw by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( RP ) enPR: sô, IPA: /sɔː/, X-SAMPA: /sO:/
      Homophone: ( in some non-rhotic accents ): soar, sore
    • Rhymes: -ɔː
    • ( US ) enPR: sô, IPA: /sɔ/, X-SAMPA: /sO/
    • ( cot–caught merger ) enPR: sä, IPA: /sɑː/, X-SAMPA: /sA:/
      ( idiosyncratic, past tense of 'see' ) IPA: /sɑːl/

    Etymology 1

    A saw—a tool

    From Middle English sawe, from Old English saga, sagu ( “saw” ), from Proto-Germanic *sagô, *sagō ( “saw” ), from Proto-Indo-European *sek- ( “to cut” ). Cognate with Dutch zaag ( “saw” ), German Säge ( “saw” ), Swedish såg ( “saw” ), Icelandic sög ( “saw” ), Latin secō ( “cut” ) .


    saw ( third-person singular simple present saws present participle sawing, simple past sawed, past participle sawed or sawn )

    1. ( transitive ) To cut ( something ) with a saw .
    2. ( intransitive ) To make a motion back and forth similar to cutting something with a saw .
      The fiddler sawed away at his instrument .
    3. ( intransitive ) To be cut with a saw .
      The timber saws smoothly .
    Related terms

    Etymology 2

    From Middle English sawe, from Old English sagu, saga ( “story, tale, saying, statement, report, narrative, tradition” ), from Proto-Germanic *sagō, *sagōn ( “saying, story” ), from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷe-, *skʷē- ( “to tell, talk” ). Cognate with Dutch sage ( “saga” ), German Sage ( “legend, saga, tale, fable” ), Danish sagn ( “legend” ), Norwegian soga ( “story” ), Icelandic saga ( “story, tale, history” ). More at saga, say .


    saw ( plural: saws )

    1. ( obsolete ) Something spoken; speech, discourse.
    2. ( often old saw ) A saying or proverb .
    3. ( obsolete ) opinion, idea, belief; by thy ~, in your opinion; commune ~, common opinion; common knowledge; on no ~, by no means .
      Þe more comoun sawe is þat Remus was i-slawe for he leep ouer þe newe walles of Rome. — Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden
    4. ( obsolete ) proposal, suggestion; possibility .
      All they assentyd to the sawe; They thoght he spake reson and lawe. — Earl of Toulouse
    • See also Wikisaurus:saying

    Etymology 3

    See see .



    1. Simple past of see .



Explanation of saw by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. cut with a saw

    2. saw wood for the fireplace
    1. a power tool for cutting wood

    2. hand tool having a toothed blade for cutting

    3. a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people

    Definition of saw by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Saw ( sa ), imp. of See.

    2. Saw, n. [OE. sawe, AS. sagu; akin to secgan to say. See Say, v. t. and cf. Saga.]

      1. Something said; speech; discourse. [Obs.] “To hearken all his sawe.” Chaucer.

      2. A saying; a proverb; a maxim.

      His champions are the prophets and apostles,

      His weapons holy saws of sacred writ. Shak.

      3. Dictate; command; decree. [Obs.]

      [Love] rules the creatures by his powerful saw. Spenser.

    3. Saw, n. [OE. sawe, AS. sage; akin to D. zaag, G. säge, OHG. sega, saga, Dan. sav, Sw. såg, Icel. sög, L. secare to cut, securis ax, secula sickle. Cf. Scythe, Sickle, Section, Sedge.] An instrument for cutting or dividing substances, as wood, iron, etc., consisting of a thin blade, or plate, of steel, with a series of sharp teeth on the edge, which remove successive portions of the material by cutting and tearing.

      ☞ Saw is frequently used adjectively, or as the first part of a compound.

      Band saw, Crosscut saw, etc. See under Band, Crosscut, etc. -- Circular saw, a disk of steel with saw teeth upon its periphery, and revolved on an arbor. -- Saw bench, a bench or table with a flat top for for sawing, especially with a circular saw which projects above the table. -- Saw file, a three-cornered file, such as is used for sharpening saw teeth. -- Saw frame, the frame or sash in a sawmill, in which the saw, or gang of saws, is held. -- Saw gate, a saw frame. -- Saw gin, the form of cotton gin invented by Eli Whitney, in which the cotton fibers are drawn, by the teeth of a set of revolving circular saws, through a wire grating which is too fine for the seeds to pass. -- Saw grass ( Bot. ), any one of certain cyperaceous plants having the edges of the leaves set with minute sharp teeth, especially the Cladium Mariscus of Europe, and the Cladium effusum of the Southern United States. Cf. Razor grass, under Razor. -- Saw log, a log of suitable size for sawing into lumber. -- Saw mandrel, a
      mandrel on which a circular saw is fastened for running. -- Saw pit, a pit over which timbor is sawed by two men, one standing below the timber and the other above. Mortimer. -- Saw sharpener ( Zool. ), the great titmouse; -- so named from its harsh call note. [Prov. Eng.] -- Saw whetter ( Zool. ), the marsh titmouse ( Parus palustris ); -- so named from its call note. [Prov. Eng.] -- Scroll saw, a ribbon of steel with saw teeth upon one edge, stretched in a frame and adapted for sawing curved outlines; also, a machine in which such a saw is worked by foot or power.

    4. Saw v. t. [imp. Sawed ; p. p. Sawed or Sawn ( ); p. pr. & vb. n. Sawing.]
      1. To cut with a saw; to separate with a saw; as, “to saw timber or marble”.

      2. To form by cutting with a saw; as, “to saw boards or planks, that is, to saw logs or timber into boards or planks; to saw shingles; to saw out a panel”.

      3. Also used figuratively; as, “to saw the air”.

    5. Saw, v. i.
      1. To use a saw; to practice sawing; as, “a man saws well”.

      2. To cut, as a saw; as, “the saw or mill saws fast”.

      3. To be cut with a saw; as, “the timber saws smoothly”.

    6. See ( sē ), v. t. [imp. Saw ( sa ); p. p. Seen ( sēn ); p. pr. & vb. n. Seeing.] [OE. seen, sen, seon, AS. seón; akin to OFries. sīa, D. zien, OS. & OHG. sehan, G. sehen, Icel. sjā, Sw. se, Dan. see, Goth. saíhwan, and probably to L. sequi to follow ( and so originally meaning, to follow with the eyes ). Gr. ἕπεσθαι, Skr. sac. Cf. Sight, Sue to follow.]
      1. To perceive by the eye; to have knowledge of the existence and apparent qualities of by the organs of sight; to behold; to descry; to view.

      I will now turn aside, and see this great sight. Ex. iii. 3.

      2. To perceive by mental vision; to form an idea or conception of; to note with the mind; to observe; to discern; to distinguish; to understand; to comprehend; to ascertain.

      Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren. Gen. xxxvii. 14.

      Jesus saw that he answered discreetly. Mark xii. 34.

      Who's so gross

      That seeth not this palpable device? Shak.

      3. To follow with the eyes, or as with the eyes; to watch; to regard attentively; to look after. Shak.

      I had a mind to see him out, and therefore did not care for contradicting him. Addison.

      4. To have an interview with; especially, to make a call upon; to visit; as, “to go to see a friend”.

      And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death. 1 Sam. xv. 35.

      5. To fall in with; to meet or associate with; to have intercourse or communication with; hence, to have knowledge or experience of; as, “to see military service”.

      Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Ps. xc. 15.

      Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. John viii. 51.

      Improvement in wisdom and prudence by seeing men. Locke.

      6. To accompany in person; to escort; to wait upon; as, “to see one home; to see one aboard the cars”.

      7. In poker and similar games at cards, to meet ( a bet ), or to equal the bet of ( a player ), by staking the same sum. “I'll see you and raise you ten.”

      God you see ( or God him see or God me see, etc. ), God keep you ( him, me, etc. ) in his sight; God protect you. [Obs.] Chaucer. -- To see ( anything ) out, to see ( it ) to the end; to be present at, work at, or attend, to the end. -- To see stars, to see flashes of light, like stars; -- sometimes the result of concussion of the head. [Colloq.] -- To see ( one ) through, to help, watch, or guard ( one ) to the end of a course or an undertaking.