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

  • n. A hand tool consisting of a handle with a head of metal or other heavy rigid material that is attached at a right angle, used for striking or pounding.
  • n. A tool or device similar in function or action to this striking tool, as:
  • n. The part of a gunlock that hits the primer or firing pin or explodes the percussion cap and causes the gun to fire.
  • n. Music One of the padded wooden pieces of a piano that strikes the strings.
  • n. A part of an apparatus that strikes a gong or bell, as in a clock.
  • n. Anatomy See malleus.
  • n. Sports A metal ball weighing 16 pounds (7.2 kilograms) and having a long wire or wooden handle by which it is thrown for distance in track-and-field competition.
  • n. A small mallet used by auctioneers.
  • transitive v. To hit, especially repeatedly, with or as if with a hammer; pound. See Synonyms at beat.
  • transitive v. To beat into a shape with or as if with a hammer: hammered out the dents in the fender; hammered out a contract acceptable to both sides.
  • transitive v. To put together, fasten, or seal, particularly with nails, by hammering.
  • transitive v. To force upon by constant repetition: hammered the information into the students' heads.
  • transitive v. To defeat soundly.
  • transitive v. To inflict a heavy loss or damage on.
  • intransitive v. To deal repeated blows with or as if with a hammer; pummel: "Wind hammered at us violently in gusts” ( Thor Heyerdahl).
  • intransitive v. To undergo beating in the manner of a hammer: My pulse hammered.
  • intransitive v. Informal To keep at something continuously: hammered away at the problem.
  • idiom under the hammer For sale at an auction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tool with a heavy head and a handle used for pounding.
  • n. A moving part of a firearm that strikes the firing pin to discharge a gun.
  • n. The malleus.
  • n. In a piano or dulcimer, a piece of wood covered in felt that strikes the string.
  • n. A device made of a heavy steel ball attached to a length of wire, and used for throwing.
  • n. The last rock in an end.
  • n. A frisbee throwing style in which the disc is held upside-down with a forehand grip and thrown above the head.
  • v. To strike repeatedly with a hammer, some other implement, the fist, etc.
  • v. To emphasize a point repeatedly.
  • v. To hit particularly hard.
  • v. To strike internally, as if hit by a hammer.
  • v. To defeat (a person, a team) resoundingly

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument for driving nails, beating metals, and the like, consisting of a head, usually of steel or iron, fixed crosswise to a handle.
  • n. Something which in form or action resembles the common hammer.
  • n. That part of a clock which strikes upon the bell to indicate the hour.
  • n. The padded mallet of a piano, which strikes the wires, to produce the tones.
  • n. The malleus.
  • n. That part of a gunlock which strikes the percussion cap, or firing pin; the cock; formerly, however, a piece of steel covering the pan of a flintlock musket and struck by the flint of the cock to ignite the priming.
  • n. Also, a person or thing that smites or shatters
  • n. A spherical weight attached to a flexible handle and hurled from a mark or ring. The weight of head and handle is usually not less than 16 pounds.
  • intransitive v. To be busy forming anything; to labor hard as if shaping something with a hammer.
  • intransitive v. To strike repeated blows, literally or figuratively.
  • transitive v. To beat with a hammer; to beat with heavy blows.
  • transitive v. To form or forge with a hammer; to shape by beating.
  • transitive v. To form in the mind; to shape by hard intellectual labor; -- usually with out.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To beat or drive with or as if with a hammer; pound; beat: as, to hammer iron or steel; to hammer one with the fist.
  • To fasten with a hammer by nailing or otherwise; construct by the use of the hammer.
  • To form or forge with a hammer; shape by beating: often with out.
  • To work upon in the mind; contrive by intellectual labor; excogitate: usually with out: as, to hammer out a scheme.
  • To strike something repeatedly with or as if with a hammer.
  • To work industriously or persistently; be very busy; labor in contrivance: as, to be hammering away at an invention.
  • To be working or in agitation; keep up an excited action or state of feeling.
  • To stammer.
  • To declare (a member) to be in default, after notice by hammering three times on the rostrum.
  • To beat down or depress (price or the market); bear.
  • To make a knocking noise, as a steam-pipe when steam is let on and a water-hammer is produced. See water-hammer, 2.
  • n. An instrument consisting of a solid head, usually of metal, but sometimes of wood or of stone, set crosswise to the handle, used for beating metals, driving nails or spikes, dressing or breaking stones, etc.; hence, a machine in which a heavy block of metal is used for such a purpose. See steam-hammer, tilt-hammer, trip-hammer.
  • n. Something which resembles the common hammer in form, action, or use.
  • n. A door-knocker.
  • n. In anatomy, the malleus.
  • n. The head of a sphyrnid or hammer-headed shark.
  • n. Figuratively, an aggressive and destructive foe: as, a hammer of heretics (Latin malleus hœreticorum).
  • n. Same as fylfot.
  • n. A pendent ornament, usually of silver, found among relics of the prehistoric iron age in the north of Europe. It has somewhat the shape of a mallet, and is undoubtedly intended to represent a hammer as weapon or utensil.
  • n. A yellowhammer or bunting. As used in the following passage the meaning of the word is uncertain. See etymology.
  • n. In athletics, a 16-pound weight (or a 12-pound weight for school-boys), attached by ball-bearing to a wire handle, which competitors, standing in a marked circle, endeavor to throw as far as possible. The old-fashioned hammer had an ordinary stiff wooden handle.

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

  • n. the ossicle attached to the eardrum
  • n. the act of pounding (delivering repeated heavy blows)
  • v. create by hammering
  • v. beat with or as if with a hammer
  • n. a power tool for drilling rocks
  • n. a heavy metal sphere attached to a flexible wire; used in the hammer throw
  • n. a hand tool with a heavy rigid head and a handle; used to deliver an impulsive force by striking
  • n. a light drumstick with a rounded head that is used to strike such percussion instruments as chimes, kettledrums, marimbas, glockenspiels, etc.
  • n. a striker that is covered in felt and that causes the piano strings to vibrate
  • n. the part of a gunlock that strikes the percussion cap when the trigger is pulled


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

Middle English hamer, from Old English hamor; see ak- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English hamer, Old English hamor, from Proto-Germanic *hamaraz (compare Dutch hamer, German Hammer, Swedish hammare). The Germanic *hamaraz "tool with a stone head" continues a Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱmoros (compare Sanskrit aśmará 'stony').



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    November 27, 2008

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    June 26, 2008