Main definitions of saw in English

: saw1saw2saw3

saw1

noun

  • 1A hand tool for cutting wood or other hard materials, typically with a long, thin serrated blade and operated using a backwards and forwards movement.

    • ‘There were saws and a small ax in Thad's tool chest that luckily was in a closet and not left in the truck.’
    • ‘A pruning saw with a curved blade that's narrow at the tip will help you get into tight spaces.’
    • ‘It helps to wrap an elastic cord around the whole bunch and use a saw to cut the old stems below the cord.’
    • ‘The study, involving more than 14,000 Utah students, noted that nearly 89 percent of these accidents involved the use of equipment such as table saws, band saws and other saws.’
    • ‘A contractor saw or a hybrid saw of good quality suits the needs of most woodworkers.’
    • ‘Jacob awoke on a cold morning to an unending beeping and a sound only comparable to a saw cutting wood.’
    • ‘Mark the cut line on the board and position the saw with its blade on the line.’
    • ‘He found a number of small cutting tools and what he believed was a bone saw.’
    • ‘Small hand bowsaws or pruning saws may be suitable for small operations.’
    • ‘To cut quickly and safely, saws must be sharpened often.’
    • ‘Mark the opening for the niche, and cut it out with a sharp utility knife or a wallboard saw.’
    • ‘Many were idle now, but some still turned, and it didn't need a good ears to hear the sounds of hammers, saws, chisels, and other tools coming from the large brick buildings clustered about them.’
    • ‘We all probably already know that sharp tools like saws and knives are needed to carve pumpkins and that taking precautions when using the tools is a necessity.’
    • ‘Most tile stores sell grout saws, an inexpensive tool with a wooden or plastic handle and a tip covered with carbide grit.’
    • ‘Perforated hardboard hung on the wall behind or near a workbench gives you a great way to store saws, chisels and the like, because it's so easy to rearrange the various hooks and holders.’
    • ‘Going in with a pruning saw to undo a decade or more of overgrowth in one shot can be disastrous to an old tree.’
    • ‘Pruning saws have narrower blades with coarse teeth that are designed to cut on the pull stroke.’
    • ‘Some grout saws have teeth, others have abrasive coatings on the blade.’
    • ‘Also on display were his tools - a hammer, saws and knives - whose whittled handles bear elaborate designs and whose blades are made from scrap metal.’
    • ‘There are various types of saws: keyhole, coping, hack, and hand.’
    1. 1.1 A mechanical power-driven tool for cutting which has a toothed rotating disc or moving band.
      • ‘Hold the base plate, or shoe, of the saw against the board to be sure the blade is lined up with the line.’
      • ‘If you don't own a miter saw, rent one.’
      • ‘It's a super-modern sawmill with huge mechanical saws controlled by computers.’
      • ‘Instead, the company has focused on repeatedly modernizing its production facilities with tools such as computer-controlled, laser-guided saws.’
      • ‘The saw was also equipped with a mechanism for tightening and tracking the blade.’
      • ‘One of the more popular saws for harvesting is a power driven circular saw mounted on the end of a wand or boom.’
      • ‘The parallel blades of a gang saw may take a week to slice through one granite block.’
      • ‘Remember that cutting this product - especially with power saws - produces a fine dust with microscopic fibers in it, so it's imperative that you wear both a respirator and goggles.’
      • ‘In addition, he claims that he was required to operate machinery with moving parts including band saw blades and cut saws, work which can be very difficult and which is potentially dangerous.’
      • ‘In addition, the noise from electric saws frightens away the fauna for miles around, emptying the forest of life.’
      • ‘With a combination blade in your saw, set the depth of cut just to cut through the sheathing.’
      • ‘Speed boats raced through the waves making a pattern of sound similar to a chain saw cutting through tough wood.’
      • ‘Since you cannot score and crack it like ceramic tiles, your best bet is to rent a wet saw.’
      • ‘Most power saws made today have ports that can attach to vacuum tubing.’
      • ‘Some types of saws utilize a blade that is coupled directly to the motor, which cuts down on weight and cost but typically reduces the amount of torque generated.’
      • ‘These saws have a full cabinet that contains the motor and are the largest, heaviest and most expensive of the table saw models.’
      • ‘You can't expect good results using the standard blades that come with most saws.’
      • ‘Brick saws also utilize a water-cooled, diamond-tipped circular blade, but the blade and the motor are mounted overhead in a pivoting frame.’
      • ‘Use of power drills or saws should be avoided if they are likely to come into contact with high-infectivity tissue.’
    2. 1.2Zoology A serrated organ or part, such as the toothed snout of a sawfish.

verb

  • 1with object Cut (something) using a saw.

    ‘the top of each post is sawn off at railing height’
    no object ‘thieves escaped after sawing through iron bars on a window’
    • ‘Tull, their neighboring farmer, is manning the wagon, while Cash is sawing wood.’
    • ‘Arriving in Quebec City the logs were sawn into lumber and shipped around the world.’
    • ‘They would either have to spend money to thin a forest in order to allow the remaining trees to grow to the size needed to make quality sawn timber or leave all the trees with less space to grow into and accept a lower quality of timber.’
    • ‘Harry had built the house from scratch - felling the timber, sawing it into planks and hammering in the nails.’
    • ‘Radially sawn timbers give better yields and more stable sections than conventionally milled timbers.’
    • ‘Personally I yearn for table-cut diamonds, serious stones sawn in half so they have no facets; they don't sparkle or shine, just glow with a restrained, secret cool ardour.’
    • ‘If a supervisor spends eight hours of his nine-hour workday alongside a crew of carpenters, sawing wood and pounding nails with them, is he blue collar?’
    • ‘A new floor of locally sawn white oak planks has been laid.’
    • ‘They did everything: splitting logs and sawing wood, laying bricks and tiles, carving wood decorations and balconies, and making furniture and carriages.’
    • ‘Occasionally, we would work together and finish a tree by sawing it with a large saw.’
    • ‘There was a lumberjack who was sawing a tree, and the tree fell on his leg.’
    • ‘Sanded and rough sawn plywood will develop surface checks, especially when exposed to moisture and sunlight.’
    • ‘We had our old sofa in the garden, it was wrecked and my Dad was sawing it into pieces to get it out of the garden gate.’
    • ‘Can you imagine hammering or sawing without the proper support?’
    • ‘Minimalists will love the temple stone garden in which sawn tree trunks weave a path through unadorned gravel.’
    • ‘Dust mask and goggles are necessary for work with all types of insulation, or when sawing wood.’
    • ‘Lumber is sawn to produce all surface orientations, from flat-sawn to edge grain.’
    • ‘A plank fifty feet long and eight inches thick could be sawn on both edges in less than five minutes!’
    • ‘Only sawn timber, roofing iron and floorboards were shipped from Adelaide.’
    • ‘Some were sawing, some were nailing and others came and went, delivering wood, nails and other tools.’
    1. 1.1 Make or form (something) using a saw.
      ‘the seats are sawn from well-seasoned elm planks’
      • ‘Because American oak is so much less porous than European, staves of American oak can simply be sawn from each quarter, so as to maximize the yield of each log.’
    2. 1.2 Cut (something) as if with a saw, especially roughly or so as to leave rough or unfinished edges.
      ‘the woman who sawed off all my lovely hair’
    3. 1.3no object Make rapid sawlike motions in cutting, or in playing a stringed instrument.
      ‘he was sawing away energetically at the loaf’
      • ‘The drums often play not so much a beat or a pulse, but lumbering repetitions - just as Eastburn's violin at the start of ‘Repent’ is the weariest sawing I've ever heard.’
      • ‘She saws away at her pancake, looking a little ashamed.’
      • ‘The problem is that blokes in white jackets sawing away at violins just isn't televisual.’
      • ‘A servant eased out of a small door with a four-string violin and began to saw quietly at it.’
      • ‘Then came the haunting solo violin refrain and all the children stopped sawing away - except one.’
      • ‘Nearly a century later this Tennesseean is still out there somewhere sawing on the strings, and most likely leading a vibrant and inspired life.’
      • ‘Cautiously, Cassari folded her hands in her lap and shifted her eyes to the fiddler who merrily sawed away at the strings of the fiddle with his bow.’
      • ‘Her father, Michael, a suave-looking businessman in his mid-forties with iron-on respectability, is sawing into a huge steak with a large knife in silence.’
      • ‘The invisible violins were currently sawing away at the frantic tune of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.’
      • ‘As expected the orchestra sawed on in the Usher Hall but Dame Gillian played in St Giles cathedral, about a mile away, with the sound relayed back to the Hall through speakers.’
      • ‘I took up my knife and began sawing at the piece of beef.’
      • ‘The track builds into a ringing guitar drone backed by the screeching sounds of Arne Ericsson sawing away at his electric-cello.’
      • ‘From time to time, this man or that one will rise from his place and call to the birds in the pit, shout at the handlers, hands hooked, sawing at the air.’
      • ‘At times both of us were hunched over our plates, sawing away at the meat in front of us.’
      • ‘She, however, was soon stumbling after them, the straps of her pack sawing at her shoulders, the weight of the pack throwing her off her stride as it bumped and shifted on her back.’
  • 2saw offCanadian no object (of two or more people) compromise by making concessions to one another.

    ‘they sawed off over wages and concluded the deal’

Origin

Old English saga, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zaag.

Pronunciation

saw

/sɔː/

Main definitions of saw in English

: saw1saw2saw3

saw2

Pronunciation

saw

/sɔː/

Main definitions of saw in English

: saw1saw2saw3

saw3

noun

  • A proverb or maxim.

    ‘it is worth bearing in mind another old saw: ‘oppositions do not win elections; governments lose them’’
    • ‘But you may recall I packed a late lunch and, as the old saw goes, time waits for no one.’
    • ‘According to the old saw, a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.’
    • ‘More broadly, though, history teaches that the old saw is correct - shares do offer the best returns in the long run.’
    • ‘Their power is absolute, and, as the old saw has it, absolute power corrupts absolutely.’
    • ‘Don't believe the old saw that you can't be out and still be a mover and shaker in Hollywood.’
    • ‘The old saw that champagne goes right to your head has been proven to be true.’
    • ‘Whether or not they like current expressions of democracy, I think it would be fair to say that most people agree with this old saw.’
    saying, maxim, proverb, aphorism, axiom, adage, motto, epigram, dictum, gnome
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English sagu ‘a saying, speech’, of Germanic origin; related to German Sage, also to say and saga.

Pronunciation

saw

/sɔː/