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.

    • ‘Small hand bowsaws or pruning saws may be suitable for small operations.’
    • ‘There are various types of saws: keyhole, coping, hack, and hand.’
    • ‘Some grout saws have teeth, others have abrasive coatings on the blade.’
    • ‘A pruning saw with a curved blade that's narrow at the tip will help you get into tight spaces.’
    • ‘Mark the opening for the niche, and cut it out with a sharp utility knife or a wallboard saw.’
    • ‘Going in with a pruning saw to undo a decade or more of overgrowth in one shot can be disastrous to an old tree.’
    • ‘It helps to wrap an elastic cord around the whole bunch and use a saw to cut the old stems below the cord.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jacob awoke on a cold morning to an unending beeping and a sound only comparable to a saw cutting wood.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To cut quickly and safely, saws must be sharpened often.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A contractor saw or a hybrid saw of good quality suits the needs of most woodworkers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mark the cut line on the board and position the saw with its blade on the line.’
    • ‘Pruning saws have narrower blades with coarse teeth that are designed to cut on the pull stroke.’
    • ‘There were saws and a small ax in Thad's tool chest that luckily was in a closet and not left in the truck.’
    • ‘He found a number of small cutting tools and what he believed was a bone saw.’
    1. 1.1 A mechanical power-driven tool for cutting which has a toothed rotating disc or moving band.
      • ‘With a combination blade in your saw, set the depth of cut just to cut through the sheathing.’
      • ‘These saws have a full cabinet that contains the motor and are the largest, heaviest and most expensive of the table saw models.’
      • ‘If you don't own a miter saw, rent one.’
      • ‘Use of power drills or saws should be avoided if they are likely to come into contact with high-infectivity tissue.’
      • ‘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, the noise from electric saws frightens away the fauna for miles around, emptying the forest of life.’
      • ‘Brick saws also utilize a water-cooled, diamond-tipped circular blade, but the blade and the motor are mounted overhead in a pivoting frame.’
      • ‘Hold the base plate, or shoe, of the saw against the board to be sure the blade is lined up with the line.’
      • ‘The parallel blades of a gang saw may take a week to slice through one granite block.’
      • ‘Since you cannot score and crack it like ceramic tiles, your best bet is to rent a wet saw.’
      • ‘Instead, the company has focused on repeatedly modernizing its production facilities with tools such as computer-controlled, laser-guided saws.’
      • ‘It's a super-modern sawmill with huge mechanical saws controlled by computers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The saw was also equipped with a mechanism for tightening and tracking the blade.’
      • ‘Most power saws made today have ports that can attach to vacuum tubing.’
      • ‘One of the more popular saws for harvesting is a power driven circular saw mounted on the end of a wand or boom.’
      • ‘You can't expect good results using the standard blades that come with most saws.’
      • ‘Speed boats raced through the waves making a pattern of sound similar to a chain saw cutting through tough wood.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2Zoology A serrated organ or part, such as the toothed snout of a sawfish.

verb

  • 1[with 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’
    • ‘Sanded and rough sawn plywood will develop surface checks, especially when exposed to moisture and sunlight.’
    • ‘Dust mask and goggles are necessary for work with all types of insulation, or when sawing wood.’
    • ‘Minimalists will love the temple stone garden in which sawn tree trunks weave a path through unadorned gravel.’
    • ‘Tull, their neighboring farmer, is manning the wagon, while Cash is sawing wood.’
    • ‘A new floor of locally sawn white oak planks has been laid.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They did everything: splitting logs and sawing wood, laying bricks and tiles, carving wood decorations and balconies, and making furniture and carriages.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Harry had built the house from scratch - felling the timber, sawing it into planks and hammering in the nails.’
    • ‘A plank fifty feet long and eight inches thick could be sawn on both edges in less than five minutes!’
    • ‘Lumber is sawn to produce all surface orientations, from flat-sawn to edge grain.’
    • ‘There was a lumberjack who was sawing a tree, and the tree fell on his leg.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Radially sawn timbers give better yields and more stable sections than conventionally milled timbers.’
    • ‘Occasionally, we would work together and finish a tree by sawing it with a large saw.’
    • ‘Some were sawing, some were nailing and others came and went, delivering wood, nails and other tools.’
    • ‘Arriving in Quebec City the logs were sawn into lumber and shipped around the world.’
    • ‘Only sawn timber, roofing iron and floorboards were shipped from Adelaide.’
    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. 1.3[no object] Make rapid sawlike motions in cutting, or in playing a stringed instrument:
      ‘he was sawing away energetically at the loaf’
      • ‘At times both of us were hunched over our plates, sawing away at the meat in front of us.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The track builds into a ringing guitar drone backed by the screeching sounds of Arne Ericsson sawing away at his electric-cello.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The invisible violins were currently sawing away at the frantic tune of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She saws away at her pancake, looking a little ashamed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nearly a century later this Tennesseean is still out there somewhere sawing on the strings, and most likely leading a vibrant and inspired life.’
      • ‘Then came the haunting solo violin refrain and all the children stopped sawing away - except one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I took up my knife and began sawing at the piece of beef.’
  • 2Canadian saw off[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’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their power is absolute, and, as the old saw has it, absolute power corrupts absolutely.’
    • ‘According to the old saw, a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.’
    • ‘But you may recall I packed a late lunch and, as the old saw goes, time waits for no one.’
    • ‘Don't believe the old saw that you can't be out and still be a mover and shaker in Hollywood.’
    • ‘More broadly, though, history teaches that the old saw is correct - shares do offer the best returns in the long run.’
    saying, maxim, proverb, aphorism, axiom, adage, motto, epigram, dictum, gnome
    expression, phrase
    platitude, cliché, truism
    apophthegm
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

saw

/sɔː/