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poleax

[pohl-aks] /ˈpoʊlˌæks/
noun, plural poleaxes
[pohl-ak-siz] /ˈpoʊlˌæk sɪz/ (Show IPA)
1.
a medieval shafted weapon with blade combining ax, hammer, and apical spike, used for fighting on foot.
2.
an ax, usually with a hammer opposite the cutting edge, used in stunning and slaughtering animals.
3.
an ax with both a blade and a hook, formerly used in naval warfare to assist sailors in boarding vessels.
verb (used with object), poleaxed, poleaxing.
4.
to strike down or kill with or as if with a poleax.
Origin of poleax
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English pollax battle-ax, literally, head-ax (see poll1, ax); akin to Middle Low German polexe
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for poleax
Historical Examples
  • He considered a grate-bar from a heating furnace, and then he found the poleax, lying among a pile of wormeaten boards.

    Police Operation H. Beam Piper
Word Origin and History for poleax
n.

kind of axe used as a weapon or by butchers, c.1300, pollax, from pol "head" (see poll (n.)) + ax (n.). From notion of beheading or head-splitting, or perhaps from the shape of the ax. Spelling altered 17c. by confusion with pole (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
17
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