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[tom-uh-hawk] /ˈtɒm əˌhɔk/
a light ax used by the North American Indians as a weapon and tool.
any of various similar weapons or implements.
(in Australia) a stone hatchet used by the Aborigines.
verb (used with object)
to attack, wound, or kill with or as if with a tomahawk.
Origin of tomahawk
Virginia Algonquian
1605-15; < Virginia Algonquian (E spelling) tamahaac hatchet (equivalent to Proto-Algonquian *temah- to cut (it) off + *-a·kan- instrument for)
Related forms
tomahawker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tomahawk
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With my tomahawk I cut a mark in that chestnut yonder and buried my weapon at the foot of it.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • I leave the tomahawk and knife to such as have a natural gift to use them.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • You say you're willing to bury the tomahawk; do you mean it?

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • Oh, how I understood now the rascally-looking fellow, with his hatchet and tomahawk!

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • I didn't have my tomahawk, and I didn't know what would happen.

  • The Indian lifted his tomahawk and the lad expected it to be buried in his head.

    Rodney, the Ranger John V. Lane
British Dictionary definitions for tomahawk


a fighting axe, with a stone or later an iron head, used by the North American Indians
(mainly Austral) the usual word for hatchet
Word Origin
C17: from Virginia Algonquian tamahaac
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 tomahawk

1610s, tamahaac, from Algonquian (probably Powhatan) tamahack "what is used in cutting," from tamaham "he cuts." Cognate with Mohegan tummahegan, Delaware tamoihecan, Micmac tumeegun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tomahawk


Related Terms

uncle tomahawk

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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