Meaning of SAW in English

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.

saw through

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.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.