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poleax

or pole·axe

[ pohl-aks ]
/ ˈpoʊlˌæks /
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noun, plural pole·ax·es [pohl-ak-siz]. /ˈpoʊlˌæk sɪz/.

a medieval shafted weapon with blade combining ax, hammer, and apical spike, used for fighting on foot.
an ax, usually with a hammer opposite the cutting edge, used in stunning and slaughtering animals.
an ax with both a blade and a hook, formerly used in naval warfare to assist sailors in boarding vessels.

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

to strike down or kill with or as if with a poleax.

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Origin of poleax

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English pollax “battle-ax,” literally, “head-ax” (see poll1, ax); akin to Middle Low German polexe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for poleax

  • As if poleaxed, the green man fell; and both the adventurers recovered their feet.

    The Heads of Apex|Francis Flagg
  • I should simply have been poleaxed and dropped overboard, while the yacht sailed away.

  • And I suppose if we strangled the children and poleaxed the husbands it would leave women free for higher culture.

    All Things Considered|G. K. Chesterton
  • The sentry fell to the ground like a poleaxed steer and lay still.

    The Revolt on Venus|Carey Rockwell
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