- 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 Also called regionally dandle . Also called dandle board . Also called teedle board . Also called teeter . Also called teeterboard . Also called teeter-totter . Also called tilt 1. Also called 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 seesawed for much of the tennis match.
Origin of seesaw
Reduplication of saw 1 Our Living Language
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
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
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)
Probably a frequentative imitative of rhythmic back-and-forth, up-and-down or zigzaging motion, such as teeter-totter, zigzag, flip-flop, ping-pong, etc., under the umbrella term of reduplication; also likely influenced by the verbs see and saw of either present or past tense.