- 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.
- 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-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsfire, hatchet, sack, can, discharge, cleaver, poll, tomahawk, chop, cut, fell, hew, boot, bounce, cancel, eliminate, remove, terminate
Examples from the Web for axing
The axing has inspired countless articles on appropriate dismissal methods.How to Get Fired in Spectacular Fashion
August 22, 2013
Smith has said she got the impression that her axing came from the suits upstairs, not from show creator Shonda Rhimes.What to Watch on TV This Week
November 9, 2008
No, then, indeed I didn't, darling; and glad enough he was to be axing me.The Macdermots of Ballycloran
There's a jintleman in the drawing-room as is axing afther masther.
Terry went into the kitchen, with the news that "masther was awake, and axing for tay."
You was axing, Tom, ef there was more business with thim Injun critters.Indian and Scout
F. S. Brereton
Well, when this lad's gone aboard, and is away, I'll be axing for more of his gold.With Wellington in Spain
F. S. Brereton
Word Origin and History for axing
see axe (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Idioms and Phrases with axing
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.