General English


  • To cut by means of a hand or powered tool having a thin, flat metal blade, band, or stiff plate with cutting teeth along the edge.
  • A toothed steel device used to cut construction materials.


  • A serrated-edge steel blade with sharp, ground, alternately offset to right and left, teeth used for cutting bones and frozen food, shaped like a hacksaw or conventional saw or made as a continuous power driven loop (bandsaw) for cutting up animal carcasses


  • acronym forM-249
    (written as SAW)
  • acronym forSquad Automatic Weapon
    (written as SAW)
  • acronym forSquad Automatic Weapon.
    (written as SAW)
  • noun an American-designed 5.56mm light machine-gun (LMG).


  • acronym forsurface acoustic wave
    (written as SAW)

Origin & History of “saw”

Not counting the past tense of see, English has two words saw. The one meaning ‘toothed cutting tool’ (OE) comes from a prehistoric Germanic *sagō, a close relative of which produced German säge ‘saw’. this in turn was descended from an Indo-European base *sak-, *sek- ‘cut’, which also lies behind English section, segment, sickle, etc. The now seldom heard saw ‘saying, adage’ (OE) comes from a different prehistoric Germanic *sagō, which was derived from the verb *sagjan ‘say’ (ancestor of English say) and also produced Old Norse saga ‘narrative’ (source of English saga (18th c.)).