Definition of sawyer in US English:



  • 1A person who saws timber for a living.

    • ‘A manual dial allows the sawyer to accurately choose the size of the lumber being targeted.’
    • ‘He was a husband, father, farmer, sawyer, commercial fisherman, quarryman, storyteller and, every now and then, beer drinker.’
    • ‘The size and number of sawpits would be determined by the ability of the timber merchant to acquire material and employ sawyers.’
    • ‘At the highest level are craftsmen known as bosses, including carpenters, masons, electricians, welders, mechanics, and tree sawyers.’
    • ‘For the nomad sawyer, working in the shop one day, in the back yard the next, and at a buddy's place on the weekend, a lightweight, bench-top table saw is an ideal choice.’
    • ‘Mark estimates that any city of 50,000 or more easily generates enough ‘waste ‘wood to keep a custom sawyer busy.’’
    • ‘He arrived on the Belgravia in 1864, with a 15-year sentence to serve for house-breaking and worked as a woodcutter, sawyer, fencer and general labouring teamster.’
    • ‘Mills works as a sawyer in Tennessee, and his poems have the kind of down-home intelligence that comes from a man listening to people talk.’
    • ‘In 1754 an immigrant sawyer, who had begun a business in New York City, advertised that he had ‘a good house for keeping timber out of the weather.’’
    • ‘After Ray, who makes rolltop desks, watched a custom sawyer turn a log into lumber, he and Mark decided they wanted to make their own lumber.’
    • ‘They had a mill worked by bullocks, a general store, an Inn, a blacksmith, a pair of sawyers, several carpenters and a number of cobblers.’
    • ‘He eventually secured a job as a sawyer with an Edinburgh timber merchant, which gave him the means to support a wife and three small children.’
    • ‘These men often were working not only as sawyers but as carpenters, coopers, and shinglemakers as well.’
    • ‘Sometimes, in the mild English summers, the sawyers would work in sawpits in the woods, which often would have no covering at all.’
    • ‘Not only were numerous loggers, sawyers, and other timber industry employees injured (with a few being killed), but tens of thousands were put out of jobs.’
    • ‘Opponents believe it's all a spin to provide more even-aged timber for the sawyers.’
    • ‘The respondents ran a small factory employing two sawyers - Mr Baird's son, and the applicant - who had worked for the business for many years when he had to undergo an operation on one of his eyes.’
    • ‘He was learning to be a sawyer, helping to provide the wood for the carpenters engaged at the ‘Big House’ where further modifications and extensions were being built on the West Front.’
    • ‘These were the areas where teams of sawyers worked to saw out the various timbers to their finished dimensions.’
    • ‘Cabinetmakers' probate inventories frequently record debts to woodmen, sawyers, varnish makers, japanners, brass founders, and locksmiths.’
  • 2US An uprooted tree floating in a river but held fast at one end.

  • 3A large longhorn beetle whose larvae bore tunnels in the wood of injured or recently felled trees, producing an audible chewing sound.

    Genus Monochamus, family Cerambycidae

    • ‘The pine sawyers are wood borers and emerge throughout the summer months as adults carrying the nematode from infested or non-infested pine trees.’
    • ‘The pinewood nematode is transmitted from pine to pine by an insect vector, the pine sawyer.’


Middle English (earlier as sawer): from the noun saw + -yer.