or bat·tle-axe



a broadax formerly used as a weapon of war.
Slang. a domineering, aggressive, sharp-tempered person, especially a woman.

Origin of battle-ax

1350–1400; Middle English batelax Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for battle-axe

Historical Examples of battle-axe

  • Brandishing his battle-axe, he came towards me at furious speed.

  • The King "gave his battle-axe the swing," and tossed it with his full force.

  • All, without exception, carried sword or battle-axe and shield.

    Erling the Bold

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Here they faced each other; the one drew his sword, the other raised his battle-axe.

    Erling the Bold

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Beside him stood a warrior with a battle-axe, and a steel helmet on his head.

    Erling the Bold

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for battle-axe



(formerly) a large broad-headed axe
informal an argumentative domineering woman
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 battle-axe

late 14c., weapon of war, from battle (n.) + axe (n.); meaning "formidable woman" is U.S. slang, first recorded 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper