I. saw 1 /sɔː $ sɒː/ BrE AmE
the past tense of ↑ see
II. saw 2 BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: sagu ]
1 . a tool that you use for cutting wood. It has a flat blade with an edge cut into many V shapes.
2 . a short familiar phrase or sentence that is considered to contain some truth about life SYN proverb , saying :
That reminds me of the old saw about being careful about what you wish for.
III. saw 3 BrE AmE verb ( past tense sawed , past participle sawn /sɔːn $ sɒːn/ or sawed American English ) [intransitive and transitive]
to cut something using a saw:
She was in the backyard sawing logs.
He sawed through a power cable by mistake.
saw at something phrasal verb
to cut something with a repeated backwards and forwards movement:
He sawed at the loaf with a blunt knife.
saw something ↔ off phrasal verb
to remove something by cutting it off with a saw:
We sawed off the dead branches.
saw something ↔ up phrasal verb
to cut something into many pieces, using a saw:
The tree was cut down and sawn up for logs.
• • •
▪ cut to divide something into two or more pieces, especially using a knife or ↑ scissors :
Do you want me to cut the cake?
He cut off the lower branches.
▪ snip to quickly cut something, especially using ↑ scissors :
I snipped the label off.
The hairdresser snipped away at her hair.
▪ slit to make a long narrow cut through something, especially using a knife:
He slit the envelope open with a penknife.
She slit through the plastic covering.
▪ slash to cut something quickly and violently with a knife, making a long thin cut:
Someone had slashed the tyres on his car.
He tried to slash his wrists.
▪ saw to cut wood, using a ↑ saw (=a tool with a row of sharp points) :
Saw the wood to the correct length.
▪ chop to cut wood, vegetables, or meat into pieces:
Bill was outside chopping up firewood with an axe.
They chopped down the old tree.
finely chopped onion
▪ slice to cut bread, meat, or vegetables into thin pieces:
I’ll slice the cucumber.
Slice the bread thinly.
▪ dice to cut vegetables or meat into small square pieces:
First dice the apple into cubes.
▪ grate to cut cheese or a hard vegetable by rubbing it against a special tool:
Grate the cheese and sprinkle it over the vegetables.
▪ peel to cut the outside part off something such as a potato or apple:
I peeled the potatoes and put them in a saucepan.
▪ carve to cut thin pieces from a large piece of meat:
Uncle Ray carved the turkey.
▪ mow to cut the grass in a garden, park etc:
A gardener was mowing the lawn.
▪ trim ( also clip ) to cut a small amount off something, especially to make it look neater:
He was trimming his beard.
Trim the excess fat off the meat.