Also jig saw. an electric machine saw with a narrow blade mounted vertically in a frame, for cutting curves or other difficult lines or patterns.

verb (used with object), jig·sawed, jig·sawed or jig·sawn, jig·saw·ing.

to cut or form with a jigsaw.


formed by or as if by a jigsaw: jigsaw ornamentation.

Origin of jigsaw

First recorded in 1870–75; jig2 + saw1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jigsaw

Contemporary Examples of jigsaw

Historical Examples of jigsaw

  • Their bodies fitted like two parts of a jigsaw puzzle that have discovered each other.

    The Pretty Lady

    Arnold E. Bennett

  • Traglio was running a lot of games, jigsaw puzzles and things of that kind.

  • It's like I'm looking at a jigsaw puzzle that looks like it's all completed and lying out on the table.

    Bear Trap

    Alan Edward Nourse

  • Through a cloud of pipe smoke, Drake was placing more pieces into the jigsaw of Sylvia Fanton's life.

  • He looked at the great jagged opening in the wall—like a jigsaw picture with a piece missing.

    It Could Be Anything

    John Keith Laumer

British Dictionary definitions for jigsaw



a mechanical saw with a fine steel blade for cutting intricate curves in sheets of material

Word Origin for jigsaw

C19: from jig (to jerk up and down rapidly) + saw 1
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 jigsaw

also jig-saw, "vertical reciprocating saw," 1855, American English, from jig with its notion of "rapid up-and-down motion" + saw (n.1). Jigsaw puzzle first recorded 1906; originally one with pieces cut by a jigsaw.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper