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or battle-axe

[bat-l-aks] /ˈbæt lˌæks/
a broadax formerly used as a weapon of war.
Slang. a domineering, aggressive, sharp-tempered person, especially a woman.
Origin of battle-ax
1350-1400; Middle English batelax Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for battle-axe
Historical Examples
  • Brandishing his battle-axe, he came towards me at furious speed.

    Lords of the North A. C. Laut
  • The King "gave his battle-axe the swing," and tossed it with his full force.

  • All, without exception, carried sword or battle-axe and shield.

    Erling the Bold R.M. Ballantyne
  • Here they faced each other; the one drew his sword, the other raised his battle-axe.

    Erling the Bold R.M. Ballantyne
  • Beside him stood a warrior with a battle-axe, and a steel helmet on his head.

    Erling the Bold R.M. Ballantyne
  • He had just felled one of the fiercest Amalekites with his battle-axe.

    Joshua, Complete Georg Ebers
  • battle-axe, boarding-pike, pistol, and dagger were the weapons.

  • Farwell might be compared to a battle-axe; Dunne to a rapier.

    Desert Conquest

    A. M. Chisholm
  • Bloodily, bloodily fall the battle-axe, unexhausted, inexorable!

    Darkness and Dawn Frederic W. Farrar
  • A stroke from some battle-axe had split the head down to the chin.


    George W. T. (George William Thomson) Omond
British Dictionary definitions for battle-axe


(formerly) a large broad-headed axe
(informal) an argumentative domineering woman
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for battle-axe

late 14c., weapon of war, from battle (n.) + axe (n.); meaning "formidable woman" is U.S. slang, first recorded 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for battle-axe



An ill-tempered woman, esp a mean old woman; virago (1890s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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