1 [saw]
a tool or device for cutting, typically a thin blade of metal with a series of sharp teeth.
any similar tool or device, as a rotating disk, in which a sharp continuous edge replaces the teeth.
verb (used with object), sawed, sawed or sawn, sawing.
to cut or divide with a saw.
to form by cutting with a saw.
to make cutting motions as if using a saw: to saw the air with one's hands.
to work (something) from side to side like a saw.
verb (used without object), sawed, sawed or sawn, sawing.
to use a saw.
to cut with or as if with a saw.
to cut as a saw does.
saw wood, Informal. to snore loudly while sleeping.

before 1000; (noun) Middle English sawe, Old English saga, *sagu; cognate with Dutch zaag, Old Norse sǫg; akin to German Säge saw, Latin secāre to cut (see section), Old English seax knife, sax2; (v.) Middle English sawen, derivative of the noun

sawer, noun
sawlike, adjective Unabridged


2 [saw]
simple past tense of see1.


3 [saw]
a sententious saying; maxim; proverb: He could muster an old saw for every occasion.

before 950; Middle English; Old English sagu; cognate with German Sage, Old Norse saga saga; akin to say1


1 [see]
verb (used with object), saw, seen, seeing.
to perceive with the eyes; look at.
to view; visit or attend as a spectator: to see a play.
to perceive by means of computer vision.
to scan or view, especially by electronic means: The satellite can see the entire southern half of the country.
to perceive (things) mentally; discern; understand: to see the point of an argument.
to construct a mental image of; visualize: He still saw his father as he was 25 years ago.
to accept or imagine or suppose as acceptable: I can't see him as president.
to be cognizant of; recognize: to see the good in others; to see where the mistake is.
to foresee: He could see war ahead.
to ascertain, learn, or find out: See who is at the door.
to have knowledge or experience of: to see service in the foreign corps.
to make sure: See that the work is done.
to meet and converse with: Are you seeing her at lunch today?
to receive as a visitor: The ambassador finally saw him.
to visit: He's gone to see his aunt.
to court, keep company with, or date frequently: They've been seeing each other for a long time.
to provide aid or assistance to; take care of: He's seeing his brother through college.
to attend or escort: to see someone home.
Cards. to match (a bet) or match the bet of (a bettor) by staking an equal sum; call: I'll see your five and raise you five more.
to prefer (someone or something) to be as indicated (usually used as a mild oath): I'll see you in hell before I sell you this house. He'll see the business fail before he admits he's wrong.
to read or read about: I saw it in the newspaper.
verb (used without object), saw, seen, seeing.
to have the power of sight.
to be capable of perceiving by means of computer vision.
to understand intellectually or spiritually; have insight: Philosophy teaches us to see.
to give attention or care: See, there it goes.
to find out; make inquiry: Go and see for yourself.
to consider; think; deliberate: Let me see, how does that song go?
to look about; observe: They heard the noise and came out to see.
Verb phrases
see about,
to investigate; inquire about.
to turn one's attention to; take care of: He said he would see about getting the license plates.
see after, to attend to; take care of: Will you please see after my plants while I'm away?
see off, to take leave of someone setting out on a journey; accompany to the place of departure: I went to the airport to see them off.
see out, to remain with (a task, project, etc.) until its completion: We decided to see it out, even if it meant another year.
see through,
to penetrate to the true nature of; comprehend; detect: He quickly saw through my story.
to stay with to the end or until completion; persevere: to see a difficult situation through.
see to, to take care of; be responsible for: I'll see to the theater tickets.

before 900; Middle English seen, Old English sēon; cognate with Dutch zien, German sehen, Old Norse sjā, Gothic saihwan

seeable, adjective
seeableness, noun
unseeable, adjective

1. observe, notice, distinguish, discern, behold, regard. See watch. 5. comprehend, penetrate. 10. determine. 11. know, undergo. 18. accompany. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
saw1 (sɔː)
1.  any of various hand tools for cutting wood, metal, etc, having a blade with teeth along one edge
2.  any of various machines or devices for cutting by use of a toothed blade, such as a power-driven circular toothed wheel or toothed band of metal
vb , saws, sawing, sawed, sawed, sawn
3.  to cut with a saw
4.  to form by sawing
5.  to cut as if wielding a saw: to saw the air
6.  to move (an object) from side to side as if moving a saw
[Old English sagu; related to Old Norse sog, Old High German saga, Latin secāre to cut, secūris axe]

saw2 (sɔː)
the past tense of see

saw3 (sɔː)
a wise saying, maxim, or proverb
[Old English sagu a saying; related to saga]

abbreviation for
surface acoustic wave

see1 (siː)
vb (when tr, takes a clause as object; when intr, foll by to) , sees, seeing, saw, seen
1.  to perceive with the eyes
2.  (when tr, may take a clause as object) to perceive (an idea) mentally; understand: I explained the problem but he could not see it
3.  (tr) to perceive with any or all of the senses: I hate to see you so unhappy
4.  (tr; may take a clause as object) to be aware of in advance; foresee: I can see what will happen if you don't help
5.  (when tr, may take a clause as object) to ascertain or find out (a fact); learn: see who is at the door
6.  to make sure (of something) or take care (of something): see that he gets to bed early
7.  (when tr, may take a clause as object) to consider, deliberate, or decide: see if you can come next week
8.  (tr) to have experience of; undergo: he had seen much unhappiness in his life
9.  (tr) to allow to be in a specified condition: I cannot stand by and see a child in pain
10.  (tr) to be characterized by: this period of history has seen much unrest
11.  (tr) to meet or pay a visit to: to see one's solicitor
12.  (tr) to receive, esp as a guest or visitor: the Prime Minister will see the deputation now
13.  (tr) to frequent the company of: she is seeing a married man
14.  (tr) to accompany or escort: I saw her to the door
15.  (tr) to refer to or look up: for further information see the appendix
16.  (in gambling, esp in poker) to match (another player's bet) or match the bet of (another player) by staking an equal sum
17.  as far as I can see to the best of my judgment or understanding
18.  (takes an infinitive) see fit to consider proper, desirable, etc: I don't see fit to allow her to come here
19.  informal see someone hanged first, see someone damned first to refuse absolutely to do what one has been asked
20.  informal (Brit) see someone right to ensure fair treatment of (someone): if he has cheated you, I'll see you right
21.  see the light, see the light of day See light
22.  see you, see you later, be seeing you an expression of farewell
23.  informal you see a parenthetical filler phrase used to make a pause in speaking or add slight emphasis
[Old English sēon; related to Old Norse sjā, Gothic saihwan, Old Saxon sehan]

see2 (siː)
See also Holy See the diocese of a bishop, or the place within it where his cathedral or procathedral is situated
[C13: from Old French sed, from Latin sēdēs a seat; related to sedēre to sit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"cutting tool," O.E. sagu, from P.Gmc. *sago "a cutting tool" (cf. O.E. seax "knife," O.N. sõg, Norw. sag, Dan. sav, M.Du. saghe, Du. zaag, O.H.G. saga, Ger. Säge "saw"), from PIE base *sak-/*sek- "to cut" (cf. L. secare "to cut," Rus. sech' "to cut;" see
section). The verb is attested from early 13c.; strong conjugation began 15c. on model of draw, etc. Sawbones "surgeon" is 1837 slang; sawdust is 1520s; sawhorse recorded from 1778; sawfish first attested 1660s. The personal name Sawyer is attested from mid-13c. (cf. lawyer). Sawed-off "short, cut short" is attested 1887 of persons, 1898 of shotguns.

"proverb," O.E. sagu "saying, discourse, speech," from P.Gmc. *saga-, *sagon- (cf. M.L.G., M.Du. sage, zage, Ger. sage "legend, fable, saga, myth, tradition," O.N. saga "story, tale, saga") from the root of O.E. secgan "say" (see say).

O.E. seon (contracted class V strong verb; past tense seah, pp. sewen), from P.Gmc. *sekhwanan (cf. O.S., O.H.G. sehan, M.H.G., Ger. sehen, O.Fris. sia, M.Du. sien, O.N. sja, Goth. saihwan), from PIE base *sekw- "to see," which is "probably" the same base that produced words for "say" in Greek and Latin,
and also words for "follow" (cf. L. sequor), but "opinions differ in regard to the semantic starting-point and sequences" [Buck]. Thus see could originally mean "follow with the eyes." Used in M.E. to mean "behold in the imagination or in a dream" (c.1200), "to recognize the force of (a demonstration)," also c.1200, "often with ref. to metaphorical light or eyes" [OED], and "to learn by reading" (1426). Past tense saw developed from O.E. pl. sawon.
"When you have seen one of their Pictures, you have seen all." [Blake, c.1811]
Sense of "escort" (e.g. to see someone home) first recorded 1607 in Shakespeare. Meaning "to receive as a visitor" is attested from c.1500. Gambling sense of "equal a bet" is from 1599. See you as a casual farewell first attested 1891. Seeing Eye dog first attested 1929, Amer.Eng., trademarked by Seeing Eye Inc. of New Jersey.

"position of a bishop," c.1300, from O.Fr. sied, sed, from L. sedem (nom. sedes) "seat, abode," related to sedere "to sit" (see sedentary).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see old saw.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences for saw
Almansur certainly saw himself as universal ruler with religious and secular
Nevertheless, the german imperial government now saw one more chance for
The sailors even deposed their commander because they saw him involved in the
Weston began to panic and ransom saw that the darkness of death was coming.
Idioms & Phrases
Images for saw
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