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[pohl-aks] /ˈpoʊlˌæks/
noun, plural poleaxes
[pohl-ak-siz] /ˈpoʊlˌæk sɪz/ (Show IPA),
verb (used with object), poleaxed, poleaxing.
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for poleaxe
Historical Examples
  • A man is knocked down by the unforeseen blow, like an ox by the poleaxe.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • On swept the terrible blows of the poleaxe, and Guy had no man to meet but was nearly a head shorter than himself.

    With the Black Prince

    William Osborn Stoddard
  • A fierce struggle took place round the market cross, during which Sir John Byron was wounded in the face with a poleaxe.

    A Cotswold Village J. Arthur Gibbs
  • The quartos have 'pollax,' the two earliest folios read 'Pollax,' the third 'Polax,' the fourth 'poleaxe.'

    Ephemera Critica John Churton Collins
  • The Constable wore gilt armour and a plumed helmet, and bore a poleaxe in his hands.

    Old and New London Walter Thornbury
  • Wretched brutes there at the cattlemarket waiting for the poleaxe to split their skulls open.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • What th' butcher done I dinnaw; but annyhow they accused him iv wantin' to poleaxe th' governmint; an' they thrun him into a cell.

  • He swung the poleaxe that he carried, and the Dutchman went down in blood with a cloven skull.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • Well, that lid would turn a poleaxe, sure; that's why I brought it back—it's out on the fire escape now.

    The Definite Object

    Jeffery Farnol
  • One of the defenders lay dead, with his head cloven to his shoulders with a poleaxe, but another had taken his place.

    The Cornet of Horse

    G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for poleaxe


another term for battle-axe (sense 1)
a former naval weapon with an axe blade on one side of the handle and a spike on the other
an axe used by butchers to slaughter animals
(transitive) to hit or fell with or as if with a poleaxe
Word Origin
C14 pollax battle-axe, from poll + axe
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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