[ saw ]
/ sɔ /


a tool or device for cutting, typically a thin blade of metal with a series of sharp teeth.
any similar tool or device, as a rotating disk, in which a sharp continuous edge replaces the teeth.

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

verb (used without object), sawed, sawed or sawn, saw·ing.

Nearby words

  1. savoy,
  2. savoy alps,
  3. savoy cabbage,
  4. savoyard,
  5. savvy,
  6. saw doctor,
  7. saw grass,
  8. saw log,
  9. saw palmetto,
  10. saw pit


    saw wood, Informal. to snore loudly while sleeping.

Origin of saw

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


[ saw ]
/ sɔ /


simple past tense of see1.


[ saw ]
/ sɔ /


a sententious saying; maxim; proverb: He could muster an old saw for every occasion.

Origin of saw

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


[ see ]
/ si /

verb (used with object), saw, seen, see·ing.

verb (used without object), saw, seen, see·ing.

Verb Phrases

Origin of see

before 900; Middle English seen, Old English sēon; cognate with Dutch zien, German sehen, Old Norse sjā, Gothic saihwan

1. observe, notice, distinguish, discern, behold, regard. See watch. 5. comprehend, penetrate. 10. determine. 11. know, undergo. 18. accompany.

Related formssee·a·ble, adjectivesee·a·ble·ness, nounun·see·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for saw

British Dictionary definitions for saw


/ (sɔː) /


any of various hand tools for cutting wood, metal, etc, having a blade with teeth along one edge
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

verb saws, sawing, sawed, sawed or sawn

to cut with a saw
to form by sawing
to cut as if wielding a sawto saw the air
to move (an object) from side to side as if moving a saw
Derived Formssawer, nounsawlike, adjective

Word Origin for saw

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


the past tense of see 1


a wise saying, maxim, or proverb

Word Origin for saw

Old English sagu a saying; related to saga


abbreviation for

surface acoustic wave


/ (siː) /

verb sees, seeing, saw or seen

Derived Formsseeable, adjective

Word Origin for see

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


/ (siː) /


the diocese of a bishop, or the place within it where his cathedral or procathedral is situatedSee also Holy See

Word Origin for see

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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with saw


see old saw.


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.

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