• synonyms

chain saw

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  1. a power saw, usually portable, having teeth set on an endless chain.

Origin of chain saw

An Americanism dating back to 1840–50


or chain·saw

verb (used with object)
  1. to cut or cut down (lumber, a tree, etc.) with a chain saw.
verb (used without object)
  1. to use a chain saw.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for chainsaw

chain saw

  1. a motor-driven saw, usually portable, in which the cutting teeth form links in a continuous chain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for chainsaw


also chain saw, chain-saw; 1818 as a surgical apparatus; 1835 in the saw mill sense, from chain (n.) + saw (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper