Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A long heavy hammer, often wielded with both hands, used for driving wedges and posts and for other heavy work.
  • transitive verb To strike with or as if with a sledgehammer.
  • adjective Ruthlessly severe; crushing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A hammer that consists of a large, heavy, broad and flat block of metal (the head) attached to a handle typically 0.5 meter to 1 meter long. The sledgehammer's design is meant to allow it to be swung powerfully, and to distribute force over a wide area upon impact.
  • verb To strike with a sledgehammer.

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

  • noun a heavy long-handled hammer used to drive stakes or wedges
  • verb beat with a sledgehammer

Etymologies

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

[Middle English slegge (from Old English slecg) + hammer.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

sledge +‎ hammer

Examples

  • In January it emerged that the plan - codenamed "sledgehammer" - had been hatched at the highest levels of the military to plant bombs to destabilise the government.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • In January it emerged that the plan - codenamed "sledgehammer" - had been hatched at the highest levels of the military to plant bombs to destabilise the government.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • In January it emerged that the plan - codenamed "sledgehammer" - had been hatched at the highest levels of the military to plant bombs to destabilise the government.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • As for leisure activities, a few old weights and a sledgehammer is the gym.

    CNN Transcript Sep 10, 2009

  • COOPER (voice-over): As for leisure activities, a few old weights and a sledgehammer is the gym.

    CNN Transcript Dec 1, 2009

  • COOPER (voice-over): As for leisure activities, a few old weights and a sledgehammer is the gym.

    CNN Transcript Dec 1, 2009

  • As for leisure activities, a few old weights and a sledgehammer is the gym.

    CNN Transcript Sep 10, 2009

  • The high leather boots and the hand that still gripped the handle of the sledgehammer were the only remains of the man.

    The Best Short Stories of 1920 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story

  • In Florence, Italy, a sledgehammer was the likely cause of destruction for a speed camera on the Florence-Pisa-Leghorn expressway.

    TheNewspaper

  • Then, Orton, in a fit of evil rage, ran under the ring and grabbed a sledgehammer, which is usually Triple H's weapon of choice.

    The Rebel Yell

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