There are 3 main definitions of saw in English:

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saw1

Syllabification: saw

noun

1A hand tool for cutting wood or other materials, typically with a long, thin serrated steel blade and operated using a backward and forward movement.
Example sentences
  • Mark the cut line on the board and position the saw with its blade on the line.
  • Pruning saws have narrower blades with coarse teeth that are designed to cut on the pull stroke.
  • Some grout saws have teeth, others have abrasive coatings on the blade.
1.1A mechanical power-driven tool for cutting, typically with a toothed rotating disk or moving band.
Example sentences
  • It's a super-modern sawmill with huge mechanical saws controlled by computers.
  • Use of power drills or saws should be avoided if they are likely to come into contact with high-infectivity tissue.
  • Instead, the company has focused on repeatedly modernizing its production facilities with tools such as computer-controlled, laser-guided saws.

verb (past participle chiefly British sawn /sôn/ or chiefly North American sawed)

[with object] Back to top  
1Cut (something, especially wood or a tree) using a saw: the top of each post is sawed off at railing height [no object]: thieves escaped after sawing through iron bars on a basement window [as adjective, in combination]: (-sawn) rough-sawn planks
More example sentences
  • Sanded and rough sawn plywood will develop surface checks, especially when exposed to moisture and sunlight.
  • Dust mask and goggles are necessary for work with all types of insulation, or when sawing wood.
  • If a supervisor spends eight hours of his nine-hour workday alongside a crew of carpenters, sawing wood and pounding nails with them, is he blue collar?
1.1Make or form (something) using a saw: the seats are sawed from well-seasoned oak planks
More example sentences
  • Because American oak is so much less porous than European, staves of American oak can simply be sawn from each quarter, so as to maximize the yield of each log.
1.2Cut (something) as if with a saw, especially roughly or so as to leave rough or unfinished edges: the woman who sawed off all my lovely hair
1.3 [no object] Make rapid sawlike motions in cutting something or in playing a stringed instrument: he was sawing away at the loaf of bread
More example sentences
  • The track builds into a ringing guitar drone backed by the screeching sounds of Arne Ericsson sawing away at his electric-cello.
  • The invisible violins were currently sawing away at the frantic tune of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.
  • The problem is that blokes in white jackets sawing away at violins just isn't televisual.

Origin

Old English saga, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zaag.

More
  • saga from (early 18th century):

    The original medieval sagas told traditional stories of the families of Iceland and the kings of Norway. No one in Britain paid much attention to them until the 18th century, at the same time as the word saga entered the language. Its old Icelandic original is the equivalent of English saw in old saw, an old proverb or maxim, and meant ‘a narrative, a story’. From the mid 19th century saga came also to apply to stories of heroic achievement and then to novels tracing families through several generations. The 1990s gave us the Aga saga, a novel by a writer such as Joanna Trollope set in a rural location and concerning the emotional lives of characters who set great store by their Aga, a stove invented in Sweden. Aga (mid 20th century) gets its name from the initial letters of Svenska Aktienbolaget Gasackumulator, Swedish Gas Accumulator Company, the original manufacturers.

Derivatives

sawlike

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • They're called ‘sawflies ‘because the adult female uses sawlike egg-laying organs to cut slits in year-old needles.’
  • Cuts must be delivered with a light touch, drawing the cutting edge of the blade back quickly in a sawlike motion.
  • A few years ago, a dentist I was seeing told me that I was brushing improperly in a sawlike motion and had caused slight damage to the gum surrounding one tooth.

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There are 3 main definitions of saw in English:

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saw2

Syllabification: saw
Past of see1.

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There are 3 main definitions of saw in English:

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saw3

Syllabification: saw

noun

A proverb or maxim.
Example sentences
  • Their power is absolute, and, as the old saw has it, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  • More broadly, though, history teaches that the old saw is correct - shares do offer the best returns in the long run.
  • According to the old saw, a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.
Synonyms

Origin

Old English sagu 'a saying, speech', of Germanic origin; related to German Sage, also to say and saga.

More
  • saga from (early 18th century):

    The original medieval sagas told traditional stories of the families of Iceland and the kings of Norway. No one in Britain paid much attention to them until the 18th century, at the same time as the word saga entered the language. Its old Icelandic original is the equivalent of English saw in old saw, an old proverb or maxim, and meant ‘a narrative, a story’. From the mid 19th century saga came also to apply to stories of heroic achievement and then to novels tracing families through several generations. The 1990s gave us the Aga saga, a novel by a writer such as Joanna Trollope set in a rural location and concerning the emotional lives of characters who set great store by their Aga, a stove invented in Sweden. Aga (mid 20th century) gets its name from the initial letters of Svenska Aktienbolaget Gasackumulator, Swedish Gas Accumulator Company, the original manufacturers.

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