a place or building in which timber is sawed into planks, boards, etc., by machinery.

Origin of sawmill

First recorded in 1545–55; saw1 + mill1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sawmill

Historical Examples of sawmill

  • They turned into a vacant lot between a sawmill and a button factory.


    Emile Zola

  • A sawmill was the largest figure of the town, and the railway station was the center.

    Wayside Courtships

    Hamlin Garland

  • Anthony unearthed a college chum who was tally man at a sawmill.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • What for three consecutive nights could bring the manager down to the sawmill?

    The Pit Prop Syndicate

    Freeman Wills Crofts

  • At the time of the Roberts fight, he was running the sawmill for Dr. Blazer.

British Dictionary definitions for sawmill



an industrial establishment where timber is sawn into planks, etc
a large sawing machine
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 sawmill

1550s; see saw (n.1) + mill (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper