noun, verb (used with object), adzed, adz·ing.


or adze



an axlike tool, for dressing timbers roughly, with a curved, chisellike steel head mounted at a right angle to the wooden handle.

verb (used with object)

to dress or shape (wood) with an adz.

Origin of adz

before 900; Middle English ad(e)se, Old English adesa; *ad-es-, of obscure origin, appears to be formed like ax, and might by association with the latter have lost *w-; if so, < Germanic *wad-, cognate with Lithuanian vedegà adz
Can be confusedadds ads adz Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for adze

blade, knife, gouge, edge, adze

Examples from the Web for adze

Historical Examples of adze

  • Let us see: Suppose an adze were handed to a carpenter for him to square a beam with it.

    Foma Gordyeff

    Maxim Gorky

  • Chipping it with an adze, and boring it with an augur, to ascertain its quality.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Presently, Adze called out that he had made the pumps act at last.

    The White Squall

    John Conroy Hutcheson

  • It is of little consequence on which my adze is first employed.

    The King's Own

    Captain Frederick Marryat

  • They are not very heavy, and not so much of a load as your sledge-hammer and adze.

    In The Saddle

    Oliver Optic

British Dictionary definitions for adze


US adz


a heavy hand tool with a steel cutting blade attached at right angles to a wooden handle, used for dressing timber

Word Origin for adze

Old English adesa
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

Word Origin and History for adze

also adz, Middle English adese, adse, from Old English adesa "adze, hatchet," of unknown origin, perhaps somehow related to Old French aisse, Latin ascia "axe" (see ax). Spelling with -z- is from 18c. Adze "has been monosyllabic only since the seventeenth century. The word has no cognates, though it resembles the names of the adz and the hammer in many languages" [Liberman, 2008].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper