[saw-yer, soi-er]
  1. a person who saws wood, especially as an occupation.
  2. Also called sawyer beetle. any of several long-horned beetles, especially one of the genus Monochamus, the larvae of which bore in the wood of coniferous trees.

Origin of sawyer

1300–50; Middle English sawier, equivalent to sawe saw1 + -ier -ier1
Related formsun·der·saw·yer, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sawyer

Contemporary Examples of sawyer

Historical Examples of sawyer

  • Sawyer should have reinforced the Seventh with his entire brigade.

  • He lived about on the river and in the harbour, working at casual jobs as a sawyer or porter.

    Maxim Gorki

    Hans Ostwald

  • Jack's first impulse was to discredit the sincerity of Mr. Sawyer's intention.

    Grandmother Dear

    Mrs. Molesworth

  • How do you know what poor Mr. Sawyer said to himself when he was alone in his room that day?

    Grandmother Dear

    Mrs. Molesworth

  • Again he went bar-jumping to chapel, and this time no Mr. Sawyer intercepted him.

    Grandmother Dear

    Mrs. Molesworth

British Dictionary definitions for sawyer


  1. a person who saws timber for a living

Word Origin for sawyer

C14 sawier, from saw 1 + -ier, variant of -er 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 sawyer

mid-13c. "one whose occupation is sawing timber into planks, boards, etc." (as a surname from c.1200), alteration of sawer, agent noun from saw (v.), influenced by French-derived words in -ier (e.g. lawyer, bowyer, clothier).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper