[ tom-uh-hawk ]
See synonyms for tomahawk on
  1. a light ax used by the North American Indians as a weapon and tool.

  2. any of various similar weapons or implements.

  1. (in Australia) a stone hatchet used by Aboriginal peoples.

verb (used with object)
  1. to attack, wound, or kill with or as if with a tomahawk.

Origin of tomahawk

First recorded in 1605–15; from Virginia Algonquian (English spelling) tamahaac “hatchet,” equivalent to Proto-Algonquian temah- “to cut (it) off” (unattested ) + -a·kan- “instrument for” (unattested)

Other words from tomahawk

  • tom·a·hawk·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tomahawk in a sentence

  • The old savage was yet in favour of tomahawking the captives and retreating without delay.

    Wild Western Scenes | John Beauchamp Jones
  • To the first—that of passing over the rock and tomahawking him, there was one objection so important as to make it a fatal one.

    Oonomoo the Huron | Edward S. Ellis
  • As he approached, Lyttle gave him his hand, but with difficulty restrained the men from tomahawking him.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare | Alexander Scott Withers
  • The Federals charged mutilation of dead bodies on the battle-field and the tomahawking and scalping of prisoners.

  • In my excitement over the picture of a red man tomahawking a child I turned a page so swiftly that I put a long tear in it.

    The Light in the Clearing | Irving Bacheller

British Dictionary definitions for tomahawk


/ (ˈtɒməˌhɔːk) /

  1. a fighting axe, with a stone or later an iron head, used by the North American Indians

  2. mainly Australian the usual word for hatchet

Origin of tomahawk

C17: from Virginia Algonquian tamahaac

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