- a recreation in which two children alternately ride up and down while seated at opposite ends of a plank balanced at the middle.
- a plank or apparatus for this recreation.
- an up-and-down or a back-and-forth movement or procedure.
- Whist. a crossruff.
- moving up and down, back and forth, or alternately ahead and behind: It was a seesaw game with the lead changing hands many times.
- to move in a seesaw manner: The boat seesawed in the heavy sea.
- to ride or play on a seesaw.
- to keep changing one's decision, opinion, or attitude; vacillate.
- to cause to move in a seesaw manner.
Origin of seesaw
Regional variation note
Examples from the Web for see-saw
Contemporary Examples of see-saw
If Michelle Shocked was in politics, her nickname might be “The See-Saw.”Lindsay Lohan, Jay Leno & More Celebrities’ Week in Hell (Photos)
March 23, 2013
After months of see-saw battles in the Sahara Desert, Libya's rebels are now making their first serious push to Tripoli.After Gaddafi, What Next?
August 21, 2011
A broad base of support in the middle brings balance to the see-saw of political power.A Centrist Gets Fighting Mad
October 13, 2010
Over the last century, American politics has tended to see-saw between panics about immigrants and panics about blacks.Fear of Immigrants
May 3, 2010
Historical Examples of see-saw
Roger left the see-saw and climbed to the top of the board fence.
Charley's end of the see-saw was on the ground so she scrambled up laughing.
Or there's only one process, and "see-saw" is one of its aspects.The Book of the Damned
For these two tendencies throughout the world are like a see-saw.Home Rule
Oh, Sammy Lee's afraid of me, riding the see-saw under the tree.The Beth Book
- a plank balanced in the middle so that two people seated on the ends can ride up and down by pushing on the ground with their feet
- the pastime of riding up and down on a seesaw
- an up-and-down or back-and-forth movement
- (as modifier)a seesaw movement
- (intr) to move up and down or back and forth in such a manner; oscillate
Word Origin for seesaw
also seesaw, 1630s, in see-saw-sacke a downe (like a Sawyer), words in a rhythmic jingle used by children and repetitive motion workers, probably imitative of the rhythmic back-and-forth motion of sawyers working a two-man saw over wood or stone (see saw. Ha ha.). Reference to a game of going up and down on a balanced plank is recorded from 1704; figurative sense is from 1714. Applied from 1824 to the plank arranged for the game.
also seesaw, "move up and down," 1712, from see-saw (n.). Related: See-sawed; see-sawing.