hatchet

[ hach-it ]
/ ˈhætʃ ɪt /

noun

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.
a tomahawk.

verb (used with object)

to cut, destroy, kill, etc., with a hatchet.
to abridge, delete, excise, etc.: The network censor may hatchet 30 minutes from the script.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

  1. hatch boat,
  2. hatchback,
  3. hatcheck,
  4. hatchel,
  5. hatchery,
  6. hatchet face,
  7. hatchet job,
  8. hatchet man,
  9. hatchetfish,
  10. hatchettine

Idioms

    bury the hatchet, to become reconciled or reunited; make peace.
    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.

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hatchet


British Dictionary definitions for hatchet

hatchet

/ (ˈhætʃɪt) /

noun

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

Word Origin for hatchet

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 hatchet

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hatchet

hatchet

In addition to the idioms beginning with hatchet

  • hatchet job
  • hatchet man

also see:

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