saw 1 (sô)
Any of various tools, either hand-operated or power-driven, having a thin metal blade or disk with a sharp, usually toothed edge, used for cutting wood, metal, or other hard materials.
v. sawed, sawed or sawn (sôn), saw·ing, saws
1. To cut or divide with a saw.
2. To produce or shape with a saw: sawed a hole in the board.
3. To make back-and-forth motions through or on: a speaker who saws the air with his arms.
1. To use a saw: sawing along the chalk line.
2. To undergo cutting with a saw: Pine wood saws easily.
[Middle English sawe, from Old English sagu, saw; see sek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)saw1
top to bottom: compass saw, backsaw, and crosscut saw
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.