- a plank balanced on a support at the middle, used by children at play, who ride the ends so that when one goes up, the other comes down
- the act of riding a plank in this way
- any up-and-down or back-and-forth movement or change, as in the lead in a competition
Origin of seesawreduplicated, reduplication of saw: from the action of sawing
- A long plank balanced on a central fulcrum so that with a person riding on each end, one end goes up as the other goes down. Also called regionally dandle, dandle board, teedle board, teeter, teeterboard, teeter-totter, tilt1, tilting board.
- The act or game of riding a seesaw.
- A back-and-forth or up-and-down movement.
- An action or process in which something repeatedly changes from one condition or situation to another: the seesaw in temperatures.
intransitive verbsee·sawed, see·saw·ing, see·saws
- To play on a seesaw.
- To move back and forth or up and down.
- To change back and forth from one condition or situation to another: The lead see-sawed for much of the tennis match.
Origin of seesawReduplication of saw1. Our Living Language The seesaw is known regionally by many names. In southeast New England it is called a tilt or a tilting board. Speakers in northeast Massachusetts call it a teedle board, and around Narragansett Bay it is often called a dandle or dandle board. Teeter or teeterboard is used more generally in the northeast United States, while teeter-totter, probably the most common term after seesaw, is used across the inland northern states and westward to the West Coast. Both seesaw (from the verb saw) and teeter-totter (from teeter, as in to teeter on the edge) demonstrate the linguistic process called reduplication, where a word or syllable is doubled, often with a different vowel. Reduplication is typical of words that indicate repeated activity, such as riding up and down on a seesaw.
- A structure composed of a plank, balanced in the middle, used as a game in which one person goes up as the other goes down; a teeter-totter
- a series of up-and-down movements.
- a series of alternating movements or feelings
(third-person singular simple present seesaws, present participle seesawing, simple past and past participle seesawed)
- (intransitive) To use a seesaw.
- (intransitive) To fluctuate.
- To cause to move backward and forward in seesaw fashion.
(comparative more seesaw, superlative most seesaw)