American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A heavy broad-headed ax formerly used as a weapon.
- n. Slang A woman held to be antagonistic or overbearing.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An ax used as a weapon of war. It was in almost universal use before the introduction of firearms, and is still employed among uncivilized peoples. In heraldry it is always represented with a blade on one (usually the dexter) side and a point on the other, the staff terminating in a spear-head.
- n. An axe, used in combat as a weapon; usually large and often double-headed.
- n. informal A belligerent and often unattractive person, especially a woman.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mil.) A kind of broadax formerly used as an offensive weapon.
- n. a broadax used as a weapon
- n. a sharp-tongued domineering wife
“A guard stood before each, leaning on the shaft of an inverted battle-ax, but they stepped aside when they saw Tattersall approach.”
“The rest of the wayward thought vanished as the creature lunged forward, its battle-ax leading the charge.”
“The creature kept coming, its oversized battle-ax a blur as it twirled the weapon in its hands.”
“Her opponent reacted faster than she had anticipated, already raising its battle-ax in defense.”
“Bee calls herself the old battle-ax of the show, having arrived in 2003 before any of her fellow correspondents.”
“Attendants brought him a jeweled helmet and armed him with a double-bladed battle-ax and a shield with a spike at its center.”
“In ancient and medieval days, when men fought hand to hand, and physical endurance alone decided the day, the number of eminent leaders was greater; but, who conceives that Alexander, Xerxes, Caesar, or Hannibal would have been eminent as leaders of modern hosts, where gunpowder and engineering genius are the ministers of destruction, rather than the battle-ax and broad-sword?”
“Surgery, the traditional battle-ax against cancer, was considered too primitive, too indiscriminate, and too weary.”
““Beth, pray tell me I cannot have heard you correctly,” the battle-ax said in an unpleasantly piercing voice that matched the look she was giving him.”
“Two much older women, one a tall, mannish-looking battle-ax with a crown of iron gray braids who was undoubtedly a lady by birth, the other also tall but spare, with silvery hair confined primly at her nape and the look of an upper servant about her, were then hugged by Beth in turn.”
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