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saw1

[saw]
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noun
  1. a tool or device for cutting, typically a thin blade of metal with a series of sharp teeth.
  2. any similar tool or device, as a rotating disk, in which a sharp continuous edge replaces the teeth.
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verb (used with object), sawed, sawed or sawn, saw·ing.
  1. to cut or divide with a saw.
  2. to form by cutting with a saw.
  3. to make cutting motions as if using a saw: to saw the air with one's hands.
  4. to work (something) from side to side like a saw.
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verb (used without object), sawed, sawed or sawn, saw·ing.
  1. to use a saw.
  2. to cut with or as if with a saw.
  3. to cut as a saw does.
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Idioms
  1. saw wood, Informal. to snore loudly while sleeping.
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Origin of saw1

before 1000; (noun) Middle English sawe, Old English saga, *sagu; cognate with Dutch zaag, Old Norse sǫg; akin to German Säge saw, Latin secāre to cut (see section), Old English seax knife, sax2; (v.) Middle English sawen, derivative of the noun
Related formssaw·er, nounsaw·like, adjective

saw2

[saw]
verb
  1. simple past tense of see1.
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saw3

[saw]
noun
  1. a sententious saying; maxim; proverb: He could muster an old saw for every occasion.
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Origin of saw3

before 950; Middle English; Old English sagu; cognate with German Sage, Old Norse saga saga; akin to say1

see1

[see]
verb (used with object), saw, seen, see·ing.
  1. to perceive with the eyes; look at.
  2. to view; visit or attend as a spectator: to see a play.
  3. to perceive by means of computer vision.
  4. to scan or view, especially by electronic means: The satellite can see the entire southern half of the country.
  5. to perceive (things) mentally; discern; understand: to see the point of an argument.
  6. to construct a mental image of; visualize: He still saw his father as he was 25 years ago.
  7. to accept or imagine or suppose as acceptable: I can't see him as president.
  8. to be cognizant of; recognize: to see the good in others; to see where the mistake is.
  9. to foresee: He could see war ahead.
  10. to ascertain, learn, or find out: See who is at the door.
  11. to have knowledge or experience of: to see service in the foreign corps.
  12. to make sure: See that the work is done.
  13. to meet and converse with: Are you seeing her at lunch today?
  14. to receive as a visitor: The ambassador finally saw him.
  15. to visit: He's gone to see his aunt.
  16. to court, keep company with, or date frequently: They've been seeing each other for a long time.
  17. to provide aid or assistance to; take care of: He's seeing his brother through college.
  18. to attend or escort: to see someone home.
  19. Cards. to match (a bet) or match the bet of (a bettor) by staking an equal sum; call: I'll see your five and raise you five more.
  20. to prefer (someone or something) to be as indicated (usually used as a mild oath): I'll see you in hell before I sell you this house. He'll see the business fail before he admits he's wrong.
  21. to read or read about: I saw it in the newspaper.
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verb (used without object), saw, seen, see·ing.
  1. to have the power of sight.
  2. to be capable of perceiving by means of computer vision.
  3. to understand intellectually or spiritually; have insight: Philosophy teaches us to see.
  4. to give attention or care: See, there it goes.
  5. to find out; make inquiry: Go and see for yourself.
  6. to consider; think; deliberate: Let me see, how does that song go?
  7. to look about; observe: They heard the noise and came out to see.
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Verb Phrases
  1. see about,
    1. to investigate; inquire about.
    2. to turn one's attention to; take care of: He said he would see about getting the license plates.
  2. see after, to attend to; take care of: Will you please see after my plants while I'm away?
  3. see off, to take leave of someone setting out on a journey; accompany to the place of departure: I went to the airport to see them off.
  4. see out, to remain with (a task, project, etc.) until its completion: We decided to see it out, even if it meant another year.
  5. see through,
    1. to penetrate to the true nature of; comprehend; detect: He quickly saw through my story.
    2. to stay with to the end or until completion; persevere: to see a difficult situation through.
  6. see to, to take care of; be responsible for: I'll see to the theater tickets.
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Origin of see1

before 900; Middle English seen, Old English sēon; cognate with Dutch zien, German sehen, Old Norse sjā, Gothic saihwan
Related formssee·a·ble, adjectivesee·a·ble·ness, nounun·see·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. observe, notice, distinguish, discern, behold, regard. See watch. 5. comprehend, penetrate. 10. determine. 11. know, undergo. 18. accompany.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

sayingbywordreparteeaphorismwordgnometruismtextmaximpreceptadageepigrammoralplatitudewitticismdictummottoaxiomdaffodilapophthegm

Examples from the Web for saw

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I saw 'em fur years, with a big cuttin' out to show the cross-section.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • As I approached nearer I saw at every step new tokens of my friends.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Eudora started, when she saw the well-known writing of Philæmon.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • And I looked and saw the chariot and horses, of which the voice had spoken.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Afterward, I looked downward, and saw my dead body lying on a couch.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child


British Dictionary definitions for saw

saw1

noun
  1. any of various hand tools for cutting wood, metal, etc, having a blade with teeth along one edge
  2. any of various machines or devices for cutting by use of a toothed blade, such as a power-driven circular toothed wheel or toothed band of metal
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verb saws, sawing, sawed, sawed or sawn
  1. to cut with a saw
  2. to form by sawing
  3. to cut as if wielding a sawto saw the air
  4. to move (an object) from side to side as if moving a saw
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Derived Formssawer, nounsawlike, adjective

Word Origin

Old English sagu; related to Old Norse sog, Old High German saga, Latin secāre to cut, secūris axe

saw2

verb
  1. the past tense of see 1
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saw3

noun
  1. a wise saying, maxim, or proverb
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Word Origin

Old English sagu a saying; related to saga

SAW

abbreviation for
  1. surface acoustic wave
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see1

verb sees, seeing, saw or seen
  1. to perceive with the eyes
  2. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to perceive (an idea) mentally; understandI explained the problem but he could not see it
  3. (tr) to perceive with any or all of the sensesI hate to see you so unhappy
  4. (tr; may take a clause as object) to be aware of in advance; foreseeI can see what will happen if you don't help
  5. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to ascertain or find out (a fact); learnsee who is at the door
  6. (when tr, takes a clause as object; when intr, foll by to) to make sure (of something) or take care (of something)see that he gets to bed early
  7. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to consider, deliberate, or decidesee if you can come next week
  8. (tr) to have experience of; undergohe had seen much unhappiness in his life
  9. (tr) to allow to be in a specified conditionI cannot stand by and see a child in pain
  10. (tr) to be characterized bythis period of history has seen much unrest
  11. (tr) to meet or pay a visit toto see one's solicitor
  12. (tr) to receive, esp as a guest or visitorthe Prime Minister will see the deputation now
  13. (tr) to frequent the company ofshe is seeing a married man
  14. (tr) to accompany or escortI saw her to the door
  15. (tr) to refer to or look upfor further information see the appendix
  16. (in gambling, esp in poker) to match (another player's bet) or match the bet of (another player) by staking an equal sum
  17. as far as I can see to the best of my judgment or understanding
  18. see fit (takes an infinitive) to consider proper, desirable, etcI don't see fit to allow her to come here
  19. see someone hanged first or see someone damned first informal to refuse absolutely to do what one has been asked
  20. see someone right British informal to ensure fair treatment of (someone)if he has cheated you, I'll see you right
  21. see the light or see the light of day See light 1 (def. 24)
  22. see you, see you later or be seeing you an expression of farewell
  23. you see informal a parenthetical filler phrase used to make a pause in speaking or add slight emphasis
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Derived Formsseeable, adjective

Word Origin

Old English sēon; related to Old Norse sjā, Gothic saihwan, Old Saxon sehan

see2

noun
  1. the diocese of a bishop, or the place within it where his cathedral or procathedral is situatedSee also Holy See
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French sed, from Latin sēdēs a seat; related to sedēre to sit
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 saw

n.1

toothed cutting tool, Old English sagu, from Proto-Germanic *sago "a cutting tool" (cf. Old English seax "knife," Old Norse sög, Norwegian sag, Danish sav, Swedish såg, Middle Dutch saghe, Dutch zaag, Old High German saga, German Säge "saw"), from PIE root *sek- "to cut" (cf. Latin secare "to cut," Russian sech' "to cut;" see section (n.)).

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n.2

"proverb, saying, maxim," Old English sagu "saying, discourse, speech, study, tradition, tale," from Proto-Germanic *saga-, *sagon- (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch sage, zage, German Sage "legend, fable, saga, myth, tradition," Old Norse saga "story, tale, saga"), from PIE root *sek(w)- "to say, utter" (see say (v.)).

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v.

"cut with a saw," c.1300, perhaps c.1200, from saw (n.1). Strong conjugation began 15c. on model of draw, etc. Related: Sawed; sawing. Sawed-off "short, cut short" is attested 1887 of persons, 1898 of shotguns.

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v.

past tense of see; from Old English plural sawon.

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see

v.

Old English seon "to see, look, behold; observe, perceive, understand; experience, visit, inspect" (contracted class V strong verb; past tense seah, past participle sewen), from Proto-Germanic *sekhwanan (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German sehan, Middle High German, German sehen, Old Frisian sia, Middle Dutch sien, Old Norse sja, Gothic saihwan), from PIE root *sekw- (2) "to see," which is probably identical with *sekw- (1) "to follow" (see sequel), a root which produced words for "say" in Greek and Latin, and also words for "follow" (cf. Latin sequor), but "opinions differ in regard to the semantic starting-point and sequences" [Buck]. Thus see might originally mean "follow with the eyes."

Used in Middle English to mean "behold in the imagination or in a dream" (c.1200), "to recognize the force of (a demonstration)," also c.1200. Sense of "escort" (e.g. to see someone home) first recorded 1607 in Shakespeare. Meaning "to receive as a visitor" is attested from c.1500. Gambling sense of "equal a bet" is from 1590s. See you as a casual farewell first attested 1891. Let me see as a pausing statement is recorded from 1510s. To have seen everything as a hyperbolic expression of astonishment is from 1957.

When you have seen one of their Pictures, you have seen all. [Blake, c.1811]
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see

n.

c.1300, "throne of a bishop, archbishop, or pope," also "throne of a monarch, a goddess, Antichrist, etc.," from Old French sie "seat, throne; town, capital; episcopal see," from Latin sedem (nominative sedes) "seat, throne, abode, temple," related to sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). Early 14c. as "administrative center of a bishopric;" c.1400 as "province under the jurisdiction of a bishop."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with saw

saw

see old saw.

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see

In addition to the idioms beginning with see

  • see about
  • see after
  • see a man about a dog
  • see beyond one's nose
  • see daylight
  • see double
  • see eye to eye
  • see fit
  • seeing is believing
  • seeing that
  • seeing things
  • see into
  • seen better days, have
  • seen one, seen them all
  • see one's way to
  • see out
  • see reason
  • see red
  • see someone off
  • see stars
  • see the back of
  • see the color of one's money
  • see the elephant
  • see the last of
  • see the light
  • see the light of day
  • see the sights
  • see things
  • see through
  • see through rose-colored glasses
  • see to
  • see with half an eye

also see:

  • as far as I can see
  • begin to see daylight
  • can't see beyond the end of one's nose
  • can't see the forest for the trees
  • I'll be seeing you
  • I see
  • let me see
  • long time no see
  • so I see
  • wait and see

Also see underseen.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.