Definition of poleaxe verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (British English) (US English poleax) verb
    BrE BrE//ˈpəʊlæks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpoʊlæks//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they poleaxe
    BrE BrE//ˈpəʊlæks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpoʊlæks//
    he / she / it poleaxes
    BrE BrE//ˈpəʊlæksɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpoʊlæksɪz//
    past simple poleaxed
    BrE BrE//ˈpəʊlækst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpoʊlækst//
    past participle poleaxed
    BrE BrE//ˈpəʊlækst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpoʊlækst//
    -ing form poleaxing
    BrE BrE//ˈpəʊlæksɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpoʊlæksɪŋ//
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  1. 1poleaxe somebody to hit somebody very hard so that they fall down and cannot stand up again
  2. 2[usually passive] poleaxe somebody to surprise or shock you so much that you do not know what to say or do synonym dumbfound See related entries: Surprise
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: related to Middle Dutch pol(l)aex, Middle Low German pol(l)exe (see poll, axe). The change in the first syllable was due to association with pole ‘long piece of word or metal’; the first element poll- may have referred to a special head of the axe or to the head of an enemy.