Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A pick, especially with one end of the head pointed and the other end with a chisel edge for cutting through roots.
  • intransitive v. To use a pickax.
  • transitive v. To use a pickax on.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of pickaxe.
  • v. Alternative spelling of pickaxe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pick with a point at one end, a transverse edge or blade at the other, and a handle inserted at the middle; a hammer with a flattened end for driving wedges and a pointed end for piercing as it strikes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut or clear away with a pickax.
  • To use a pickax.
  • n. A pick, especially one with a sharp point on one side of the head and a broad blade on the other. The pointed end is used for loosening hard earth, and the other for cutting the roots of trees. See also cuts under pick, n., 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a heavy iron tool with a wooden handle and a curved head that is pointed on both ends

Etymologies

Middle English picax, alteration (influenced by ax, ax) of picas, from Old French picois (from pic, pick) and from Medieval Latin pīcōsa, both probably from Latin pīcus, woodpecker.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The logo for Kirk Miller's debonair menswear label, Miller's Oath, is a pickax.

    Ode to Handsome

  • A second report from April 2009 describes an Iraqi detainee as being covered in bruises and a scar from being bludgeoned with a pickax.

    WikiLeaks Docs Raise Questions On Obama Policies

  • Here's what I'm sure of: I wouldn't tolerate someone ripping my dog's teeth out (baby pigs); stuffing him in a cramped wire cage (egg-laying chickens); or swinging a pickax at his face (Blue-Fin Tuna).

    Josh Tetrick: Food Stories

  • Miss Chatter took out a pickax on the chap. Fire Jim Bowden wrote that dislike of Dibble is a unifying force among Nats fans.

    Peter Gammons would shut Strasburg down

  • Brian comes out in the first number, looking like a pioneer, carrying a leather shoulder bag and a pickax, singing about the thrill of the American frontier and the great move westward.

    Theater Geek

  • Grabbing his pickax, he led her to an area with a bowl depression that had a retaining wall bricked around it.

    Demon From The Dark

  • He lets the pickax fall to the ground and digs deep into his pocket for a cell phone, punches in some letters and lets Claire copy the number off the screen.

    Healer

  • His pickax is slung loose in one hand; it is thickly calloused—she can see the cracked lines of dirt even from her car.

    Healer

  • I sniffed at the saguaros and the bushes, noticed a pickax blade, old and rusty, the kind miners used.

    To Fetch a Thief

  • Using a clinical pickax to scale sharp sociological heights, Schneider, a historian with a fetish for outré urban doings, locates and explores a provocative nexus of truth and transgression: the place where urban myth, violent crime, medical findings, drug trafficking, media conflation, and policy prerogative overlap and intersect.

    Cover to Cover

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