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See more synonyms for sawbones on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural saw·bones, saw·bones·es. (used with a singular verb) Slang.
  1. a surgeon or physician.
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Origin of sawbones

1830–40; saw1 + bone + -s3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sawbones

specialist, doctor, surgeon, quack, medic, intern, healer, MD, doc, bones, sawbones

Examples from the Web for sawbones

Historical Examples of sawbones

  • That any whipper-snapper of a sawbones should tell me to go to my room.

    The Green Rust

    Edgar Wallace

  • The Sawbones have give it that name, I'm aware, but of course that's their fun.

  • Don't come to me: go t' a sawbones and have your arm cut off.

    Hard Cash

    Charles Reade

  • But I kin go to Bullhide for the sawbones in it, and bring him back, too.

  • That sawbones feller is right when he says the progress will be slow.

    With Edged Tools

    Henry Seton Merriman

British Dictionary definitions for sawbones


noun plural -bones or -boneses
  1. slang a surgeon or doctor
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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 sawbones


"surgeon," 1837, slang, from verbal phrase; see saw (v.) + bone (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper