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

  • n. A tool with a bladed, usually heavy head mounted crosswise on a handle, used for felling trees or chopping wood.
  • n. Any of various bladed, hand-held implements used as a cutting tool or weapon.
  • n. Informal A sudden termination of employment: My colleague got the ax yesterday.
  • n. Slang A musical instrument, especially a guitar.
  • transitive v. To chop or fell with or as if with an ax: axed down the saplings; axed out a foothold in the ice.
  • transitive v. Informal To remove ruthlessly or suddenly: a social program that was axed to effectuate budget cuts.
  • idiom ax to grind A selfish or ulterior aim: He claimed to be disinterested, but I knew he had an ax to grind.
  • v. Nonstandard Variant of ask.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of axe.
  • v. Alternative spelling of axe.
  • v. Alternative form of ask.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tool or instrument of steel, or of iron with a steel edge or blade, for felling trees, chopping and splitting wood, hewing timber, etc. It is wielded by a wooden helve or handle, so fixed in a socket or eye as to be in the same plane with the blade. The broadax, or carpenter's ax, is an ax for hewing timber, made heavier than the chopping ax, and with a broader and thinner blade and a shorter handle.
  • v. To ask; to inquire or inquire of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shape or trim with an ax.
  • Obsolete or dialectal forms of ask.
  • n. An instrument used for hewing timber and chopping wood, and also as a weapon of offense.
  • n. An axle; an axis.

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

  • v. terminate
  • v. chop or split with an ax
  • n. an edge tool with a heavy bladed head mounted across a handle


Middle English, from Old English æx.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
See axe. (Wiktionary)
Old English acsian, showing metathesis from ascian. The regular literary form until circa 1600. (Wiktionary)



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