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hatchet

[hach-it]
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noun
  1. a small, short-handled ax having the end of the head opposite the blade in the form of a hammer, made to be used with one hand.
  2. a tomahawk.
  3. hatchetfish.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cut, destroy, kill, etc., with a hatchet.
  2. to abridge, delete, excise, etc.: The network censor may hatchet 30 minutes from the script.
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Idioms
  1. bury the hatchet, to become reconciled or reunited; make peace.
  2. take up the hatchet, to begin or resume hostilities; prepare for or go to war: The natives are taking up the hatchet against the enemy.
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Origin of hatchet

1300–50; 1670–80, Americanism for def 6; Middle English hachet < Middle French hachette, diminutive (see -et) of hache ax < Frankish *hapja kind of knife; akin to Greek kóptein to cut (cf. comma, syncope)
Related formshatch·et·like, adjective

bury

[ber-ee]
verb (used with object), bur·ied, bur·y·ing.
  1. to put in the ground and cover with earth: The pirates buried the chest on the island.
  2. to put (a corpse) in the ground or a vault, or into the sea, often with ceremony: They buried the sailor with full military honors.
  3. to plunge in deeply; cause to sink in: to bury an arrow in a target.
  4. to cover in order to conceal from sight: She buried the card in the deck.
  5. to immerse (oneself): He buried himself in his work.
  6. to put out of one's mind: to bury an insult.
  7. to consign to obscurity; cause to appear insignificant by assigning to an unimportant location, position, etc.: Her name was buried in small print at the end of the book.
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noun, plural bur·ies.
  1. Nautical. housing1(def 8a, b).
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Idioms
  1. bury one's head in the sand, to avoid reality; ignore the facts of a situation: You cannot continue to bury your head in the sand—you must learn to face facts.
  2. bury the hatchet, to become reconciled or reunited.
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Origin of bury

before 1000; Middle English berien, buryen, Old English byrgan to bury, conceal; akin to Old English beorgan to hide, protect, preserve; cognate with Dutch, German bergen, Gothic bairgan, Old Norse bjarga
Related formshalf-bur·ied, adjectivere·bur·y, verb (used with object), re·bur·ied, re·bur·y·ing.un·bur·ied, adjectivewell-bur·ied, adjective
Can be confusedBarry berry bury

Synonyms

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2. inter, entomb, inhume. 4. hide, secrete.

Antonyms

2. disinter, exhume. 4. uncover.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for bury the hatchet

Bury

noun
  1. a town in NW England, in Bury unitary authority, Greater Manchester: an early textile centre. Pop: 60 178 (2001)
  2. a unitary authority in NW England, in Greater Manchester. Pop: 181 900 (2003 est). Area: 99 sq km (38 sq miles)
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bury

verb buries, burying or buried (tr)
  1. to place (a corpse) in a grave, usually with funeral rites; inter
  2. to place in the earth and cover with soil
  3. to lose through death
  4. to cover from sight; hide
  5. to embed; sinkto bury a nail in plaster
  6. to occupy (oneself) with deep concentration; engrossto be buried in a book
  7. to dismiss from the mind; abandonto bury old hatreds
  8. bury the hatchet to cease hostilities and become reconciled
  9. bury one's head in the sand to refuse to face a problem
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Word Origin

Old English byrgan to bury, hide; related to Old Norse bjarga to save, preserve, Old English beorgan to defend

hatchet

noun
  1. a short axe used for chopping wood, etc
  2. a tomahawk
  3. (modifier) of narrow dimensions and sharp featuresa hatchet face
  4. bury the hatchet to cease hostilities and become reconciled
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Derived Formshatchet-like, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old French hachette, from hache axe, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German happa knife
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 bury the hatchet

bury

v.

Old English byrgan "to raise a mound, hide, bury, inter," akin to beorgan "to shelter," from Proto-Germanic *burzjan- "protection, shelter" (cf. Old Saxon bergan, Dutch bergen, Old Norse bjarga, Swedish berga, Old High German bergan "protect, shelter, conceal," German bergen, Gothic bairgan "to save, preserve"), from PIE root *bhergh- "protect, preserve" (cf. Old Church Slavonic brego "I preserve, guard"). Related: Buried; burying. Burying-ground "cemetery" attested from 1711.

The Old English -y- was a short "oo" sound, like modern French -u-. Under normal circumstances it transformed into Modern English -i- (e.g. bridge, kiss, listen, sister), but in bury and a few other words (e.g. merry, knell) it retained a Kentish change to "e" that took place in the late Old English period. In the West Midlands, meanwhile, the Old English -y- sound persisted, slightly modified over time, giving the standard modern pronunciation of blush, much, church.

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hatchet

n.

c.1300 "small ax" (mid-12c. in surnames), from Old French hachete, diminutive of hache "ax, battle-axe, pickaxe," possibly from Frankish *happja or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hæbijo (cf. Old High German happa "sickle, scythe"), from PIE root *kop- "to beat, strike" (cf. Greek kopis "knife;" Lithuanian kaplys "hatchet," kapoti "cut small;" Old Church Slavonic skopiti "castrate").

In Middle English, hatch itself was used in a sense "battle-axe." In 14c., hang up (one's) hatchet meant "stop what one is doing." Phrase bury the hatchet (1794) is from a supposed Native American peacemaking custom. Hatchet-man was originally California slang for "hired Chinese assassin" (1880), later extended figuratively to journalists who attacked the reputation of a public figure (1944).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bury the hatchet in Culture

bury the hatchet

To agree to end a quarrel: “Jerry and Cindy had been avoiding each other since the divorce, but I saw them together this morning, so they must have buried the hatchet.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with bury the hatchet

bury the hatchet

Make peace; settle one's differences. For example, Toward the end of the year, the roommates finally decided to bury the hatchet. Although some believe this term comes from a Native American custom for declaring peace between warring tribes, others say it comes from hang up one's hatchet, a term dating from the early 1300s (well before Columbus landed in the New World). The word bury replaced hang up in the 1700s.

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hatchet

In addition to the idioms beginning with hatchet

  • hatchet job
  • hatchet man

also see:

  • bury the hatchet
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.