chain saw



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

Nearby words

  1. chain pump,
  2. chain reaction,
  3. chain reactor,
  4. chain reflex,
  5. chain rule,
  6. chain shot,
  7. chain smoker,
  8. chain stitch,
  9. chain store,
  10. chain wheel

Origin of chain saw

An Americanism dating back to 1840–50


or chain·saw

[ cheyn-saw ]
/ ˈtʃeɪnˌsɔ /

verb (used with object)

to cut or cut down (lumber, a tree, etc.) with a chain saw.

verb (used without object)

to use a chain saw. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chainsaw

British Dictionary definitions for chainsaw

chain saw


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