What does saw mean?

Definitions for saw

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word saw.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. proverb, adage, saw, bywordnoun

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

  2. sawnoun

    hand tool having a toothed blade for cutting

  3. power saw, saw, sawing machineverb

    a power tool for cutting wood

  4. sawverb

    cut with a saw

    "saw wood for the fireplace"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Saw

    part. sawed and sawn. To cut timber or other matter with a saw.

    Etymology: scier, French; from the noun.

    They were stoned, they were sawn asunder. Heb. xi. 37.

    A carpenter, after he hath sawn down a tree, and wrought it handsomely, sets it in a wall. Wisd. xiii. 11.

    It is an incalescency, from a swift motion, such as that of running, threshing, or sawing. John Ray, on the Creation.

    If I cut my finger, I shall as certainly feel pain as if my soul was co-extended with the limb, and had a piece of it sawn through. Collier.

    Master-workmen, when they direct any of their underlings to saw a piece of stuff, have several phrases for the sawing of it: they seldom say, saw the piece of stuff; but, draw the saw through it; give the piece of stuff a kerf. Joseph Moxon.

    It is the carpenters work to hew the timber, saw it out, and frame it. John Mortimer.

  2. SAWnoun

    Etymology: sawe, Danish; saga , or sige , Saxon; scie, Fr.

    The teeth are filed to an angle, pointing towards the end of the saw, and not towards the handle of the saw, or straight between the handle and end; because the saw is designed to act only in its progress forwards, a man having in that more strength than he can have in drawing back his saw, and therefore when he draws it back, he bears it lightly off the unsawn stuff, which enables him the longer to continue his several progressions of the saw. Joseph Moxon, Mech. Exer.

    The roach is a leather-mouth’d fish, and has saw like teeth in his throat. Izaak Walton, Angler.

    Then saws were tooth’d, and sounding axes made. Dryd.

    If they cannot cut,
    His saws are toothless, and his hatchets lead. Alexander Pope.

    Good king, that must approve the common saw:
    Thou out of heaven’s benediction com’st
    To the warm sun! William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    From the table of my memory
    I’ll wipe away all saws of books. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    His weapons, holy saws of sacred writ;
    His study in his tilt-yard. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    Strict age and sour severity,
    With their grave saws in slumber lie. John Milton.

  3. Sawthe preterite of see.

    I never saw ’till now
    Sight more detestable. John Milton.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Saw

    imp. of See

  2. Sawverb

    something said; speech; discourse

  3. Sawverb

    a saying; a proverb; a maxim

  4. Sawverb

    dictate; command; decree

  5. Sawnoun

    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

  6. Sawverb

    to cut with a saw; to separate with a saw; as, to saw timber or marble

  7. Sawverb

    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

  8. Sawverb

    also used figuratively; as, to saw the air

  9. Sawverb

    to use a saw; to practice sawing; as, a man saws well

  10. Sawverb

    to cut, as a saw; as, the saw or mill saws fast

  11. Sawverb

    to be cut with a saw; as, the timber saws smoothly

  12. Saw

    of See

  13. Etymology: [OE. sawe, AS. sagu; akin to secgan to say. See Say, v. t. and cf. Saga.]


  1. Saw

    A saw is a tool consisting of a hard blade, wire, or chain with a toothed edge. It is used to cut through relatively hard material, most often wood. The cut is made by placing the toothed edge against the material and moving it forcefully back and forth. This force may be applied by hand, or powered by steam, water, electricity or other power source. An abrasive saw has a powered circular blade designed to cut through metal.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Saw

    saw, pa.t. of see.

  2. Saw

    saw, n. an instrument for cutting, formed of a blade, band, or disc of thin steel, with a toothed edge.—v.t. to cut with a saw.—v.i. to use a saw: to be cut with a saw:—pa.t. sawed; pa.p. sawed or sawn.—ns. Saw′-back, the larva of an American bombycid moth; Saw′-bones, a slang name for a surgeon; Saw′dust, dust or small pieces of wood, &c., made in sawing; Saw′er; Saw′-file, a three-cornered file used for sharpening the teeth of saws; Saw′-fish, a genus of cartilaginous fishes distinguished by the prolongation of the snout into a formidable weapon bordered on each side by sharp teeth; Saw′-fly, the common name of a number of hymenopterous insects, injurious to plants; Saw′-frame, the frame in which a saw is set; Saw′-grass, a marsh plant of the southern states of the American Union, with long slender leaves; Saw′-horn, any insect with serrate antennæ; Saw′mill, a mill for sawing timber; Saw′pit, a pit where wood is sawed; Saw′-set, an instrument for turning the teeth of saws alternately right and left; Saw′-sharp′ener, the greater titmouse; Saw′-tā′ble, the platform of a sawing-machine; Saw′-tem′pering, the process by which the requisite hardness and elasticity are given to a saw.—adj. Saw′-toothed, having teeth like those of a saw: (bot.) having tooth-like notches, as a leaf.—ns. Saw′-whet, the Acadian owl; Saw′-whet′ter, the marsh titmouse; Saw′yer, one who saws timber: a stranded tree in a river in America: any wood-boring larva: the bowfin fish. [A.S. saga; Ger. säge.]

  3. Saw

    saw, n. a saying: a proverb: a degree: a joke. [A.S. sagusecgan, to say.]

  4. Saw

    saw, n. (Scot.) salve.

Suggested Resources

  1. SAW

    What does SAW stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the SAW acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'saw' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #327

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'saw' in Written Corpus Frequency: #450

How to pronounce saw?

How to say saw in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of saw in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of saw in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of saw in a Sentence

  1. Mark Keenan:

    During the recent downturn, we saw huge quantities of put options bought by oil producers.

  2. Red Star:

    The best tennis player in the world, I saw him and I am delighted he was here to support us, he should carry on doing what he does for himself and Serbia, he is doing a great job.

  3. Carlos Gallegos:

    And I have to tell you, what I saw was horrible. What I saw was horrible, you could hear him struggling with the breathing ... It sounded like firecrackers going off on his chest. You could just hear the congestion.

  4. Francois De La Rochefoucauld:

    We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them.

  5. Justin Wang:

    Between 2013 and 2017, there were numerous phreatic eruptions that influx toxic metals, extreme acidity, and heat to the lake, but nevertheless we saw some of the same microorganisms in the same environment.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for saw

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    pass through the tissue or substance or its pores or interstices, as of gas
    • A. abash
    • B. transpire
    • C. abide
    • D. cleave

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