an instrument with a bladed head on a handle or helve, used for hewing, cleaving, chopping, etc.
Jazz Slang. any musical instrument.
the ax, Informal.
dismissal from employment: to get the ax.
expulsion from school.
rejection by a lover, friend, etc.: His girlfriend gave him the ax.
any usually summary removal or curtailment.
to shape or trim with an ax.
to chop, split, destroy, break open, etc., with an ax: The firemen had to ax the door to reach the fire.
Informal. to dismiss, restrict, or destroy brutally, as if with an ax: The main office axed those in the field who didn't meet their quota. Congress axed the budget.
Idioms about ax
have an ax to grind, to have a personal or selfish motive: His interest may be sincere, but I suspect he has an ax to grind.
- axlike, adjective
Other definitions for ax- (2 of 3)
Other definitions for ax. (3 of 3)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ax in a sentence
The crusty conservative battle-ax Phyllis Schlafly is giving speeches saying that Obama worships government like a god.RFRA Madness: What’s Next for Anti-Democratic ‘Religious Exemptions’ | Jay Michaelson | November 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One morning a few years ago, the editor left his apartment to find an ax stuck into a log on his doorstep.The Kremlin Is Killing Echo of Moscow, Russia’s Last Independent Radio Station | Anna Nemtsova | November 7, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“Kasich wields his ax much less selectively than do most of his party colleagues,” the New York Times Magazine reported in 1998.
Then, one warm summer day, Andrew and Abby were found hacked to death more than a dozen times with an ax.Would You Stay in Lizzie Borden’s Ax-Murder House? | Nina Strochlic | October 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The ensuing night gave me the grand migraine of my life, with throbs like the blows of an ax and continuous pinwheels.The Stacks: H.L. Mencken on the 1904 Baltimore Fire | H.L. Mencken | October 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Victor was the younger son and brother—a tete montee, with a temper which invited violence and a will which no ax could break.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
From somewhere in the thicket below a muffled thump, thump, thump came up to them, as though some one was wielding an ax.
The blows of the ax, off in the chaparral, were louder in their ears now, and they could hear a mumble of voices.
Gregory picked up an ax as he stepped back, and then stood confronting the boys threateningly.
The ax was to sever the head from the lifeless body, and all the headless trunks were to be interred together.Madame Roland, Makers of History | John S. C. Abbott
Other Idioms and Phrases with ax
In addition to the idiom beginning with ax
- ax to grind
- get the ax
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.