Definition of seesaw in English:

seesaw

noun

  • 1A long plank balanced in the middle on a fixed support, on each end of which children sit and swing up and down by pushing the ground alternately with their feet.

    • ‘There have already been hundreds of people coming to this park, and because there is such a big demand, we are planning on adding a second set of swings, see-saws, sand pit and benches.’
    • ‘Therefore, he had plenty of time for such wholesome activities as sitting motionless on the edge of a see-saw.’
    • ‘This week some swings and see-saws have been put in the site.’
    • ‘It journeys through an assault course of fields, hills, rivers, woods, a see-saw and other exciting obstacles.’
    • ‘The display now includes a see-saw, rocking horse, Santas, gnomes and elves.’
    • ‘Greta told me of her childhood when she enjoyed visits to Feniscowles Hall, which then had pleasure gardens with swings and see-saws.’
    • ‘Every block has a park with the usual swing, see-saw and playthings.’
    • ‘Swings, a see-saw and a slide had already been ordered.’
    • ‘If this proposed standard is adopted, it will outlaw all but the tiniest horses and it also affects other indoor toys such as swings and see-saws.’
    • ‘Thirteen children's playgrounds are to be shut down but swings, see-saws and slides on six other sites are to be saved.’
    • ‘When not on the beach, Rian enjoyed the children's playground, which offered a slide, swings, see-saw and fortress.’
    • ‘All the traditional features, such as climbing frames, swings, see-saws and slides, can be seen but there is so much more besides.’
    • ‘Some brought see-saws, slides and swings to their frames.’
    1. 1.1 A situation characterized by rapid, repeated changes from one state or condition to another.
      ‘the emotional seesaw of a first love affair’
      as modifier ‘seesaw interest rates’
      • ‘Few contests ever have involved so much see-saw emotion.’
      • ‘The intellectual see-saw continues as we're carefully guided through an ethical minefield of technologies.’
      • ‘In these see-saw markets, in whom, or what, do we trust?’
      • ‘The emotional see-saw of her life so far, with its successes and failures, knows few limits.’

verb

[no object]
  • 1Change rapidly and repeatedly from one position, situation, or condition to another and back again.

    ‘the market seesawed as rumors spread of an imminent cabinet reshuffle’
    • ‘The momentum and fatigue factors see-sawed back and forth.’
    • ‘Oddly enough, you see-saw between overconfidence and self-doubt.’
    • ‘First, it is suggested that successive attempts to expound a Marxian theory of nature have see-sawed between naturalistic and social constructionist positions.’
    • ‘During that period his condition would see-saw and we were not sure if he would pull through.’
    • ‘Fuel surcharges have see-sawed this year, going up to as high as US $112 per container.’
    • ‘In the weeks that followed, Japanese policy toward China see-sawed several times, but generally moved towards greater mobilization and tougher demands.’
    • ‘The London Market's fortunes continued to see-saw yesterday as the City digested yet another dramatic session.’
    • ‘Volatility was rife in the markets last week, with all major indexes see-sawing.’
    • ‘The match, played in ideal conditions, kept the large attendance enthralled for long periods of the opening half as the lead see-sawed back and forth, first one side gaining the initiative then the other.’
    • ‘He often seems to see-saw on issues, and even his advocates find this to be a very weak point in his campaign for presidency.’
    1. 1.1with object Cause (something) to move back and forth or up and down rapidly and repeatedly.
      ‘Sybil seesawed the car back and forth’

Origin

Mid 17th century (originally used by sawyers as a rhythmical refrain): reduplication of the verb saw (symbolic of the sawing motion).

Pronunciation

seesaw

/ˈsēˌsô//ˈsiˌsɔ/