View synonyms for axe


/ æks /


  1. a hand tool with one side of its head forged and sharpened to a cutting edge, used for felling trees, splitting timber, etc See also hatchet
  2. an axe to grind
    1. an ulterior motive
    2. a grievance
    3. a pet subject
  3. the axe informal.
    1. dismissal, esp from employment; the sack (esp in the phrase get the axe )
    2. severe cutting down of expenditure, esp the removal of unprofitable sections of a public service
  4. slang.
    any musical instrument, esp a guitar or horn


  1. to chop or trim with an axe
  2. informal.
    to dismiss (employees), restrict (expenditure or services), or terminate (a project)

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Word History and Origins

Origin of axe1

Old English æx; related to Old Frisian axa, Old High German acchus, Old Norse öx, Latin ascia, Greek axinē

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Example Sentences

The Rocket used his stick as though it were a battle axe and hacked at Laycoe, hitting the defenseman in the ear and on the shoulder.

Additionally, if you’re going to stay one step ahead of the guy with the axe, you need to know where your company and the industry is headed and obtain the skills necessary to market yourself in a constantly changing environment.

From Digiday

It’s not about protecting Google, it’s about accounting for when the axe swings in the opposite direction.

And that means they also fall under the umbrella of programs most likely to get the axe when state and federal budgets are tight.

It was promoted on what might be called not-quite-mainstream or, indeed, axe-to-grind media.

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down.

He is the drone official, the bland-faced human-resources manager tasked with dropping the axe.

And it is only one of a number of Afghan schools to face the budget axe swung by distant governments and cost-cutting politicians.

But not too big for the ragged old arm that felled it down as an axe fells the last rings of a stricken tree.

For the laws of the people are vain: for the works of the hand of the workman hath cut a tree out of the forest with an axe.

She shook her head—Gilbert was not at home, and her axe was so blunt that a body might ride to Rumford on it.

King Robert himself was riding in front of Sir Edward's division on a small palfrey, with only a battle-axe in hand.

Patrick had brought an axe and, with the help of some of the boys, soon had a big bonfire burning on the edge of the pond.