ax

or axe

[ aks ]
/ æks /

noun, plural ax·es [ak-siz] /ˈæk sɪz/.

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.
  1. dismissal from employment: to get the ax.
  2. expulsion from school.
  3. rejection by a lover, friend, etc.: His girlfriend gave him the ax.
  4. any usually summary removal or curtailment.

verb (used with object), axed, ax·ing.

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.

Words nearby ax

Idioms for 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.

Origin of ax

before 1000; Middle English; ax(e), ex(e), Old English æx, æces; akin to Gothic aquizi, Old Norse øx, ǫx, Old High German acc(h)us, a(c)kus (German Axt), Middle High German plural exa < Germanic *akwiz-, akuz-, aksi-*ákəs, áks-; Latin ascia (< *acsiā), Greek axī́nē; < Indo-European *ag-s-

OTHER WORDS FROM ax

ax·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for axe

British Dictionary definitions for axe

axe

US ax

/ (æks) /

noun plural axes

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

verb (tr)

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

Word Origin for axe

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

Medical definitions for axe

ax

abbr.

axis
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with axe

ax

In addition to the idiom beginning with ax

  • ax to grind

also see:

  • 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.