Definition of pickaxe noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



(North American English also pickax) noun
BrE BrE//ˈpɪkæks//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪkæks//
(also pick)
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a large heavy tool that has a curved metal bar with sharp ends fixed at the centre to a wooden handle. It is used for breaking rocks or hard ground. Word OriginMiddle English pikoys, from Old French picois; related to pike ‘weapon’. The change in the ending was due to association with axe.