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



    BrE BrE//æks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//æks//
    (especially British English) (usually US English ax)
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  1. 1 a tool with a wooden handle and a heavy metal blade, used for chopping wood, cutting down trees, etc. see also battleaxe, ice axe, pickaxe
  2. 2the axe [singular] (informal) (often used in newspapers) if somebody gets the axe, they lose their job; if an institution or a project gets the axe, it is closed or stopped, usually because of a lack of money Up to 300 workers are facing the axe at a struggling Merseyside firm. Patients are delighted their local hospital has been saved from the axe. Protesters, anxious over the spending cuts, urged councillors to think again before wielding the axe.
  3. Word OriginOld English æx, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aaks and German Axt.Extra examples His prime-time TV show is likely to get the axe. The executioner’s axe fell. We were expecting bad news but had no idea where the axe would fall. Wielding the axe on the prison plan would be one way of saving money. With a few swift blows of the axe, she severed the cable. to chop a tree down with an axeIdioms to have private reasons for being involved in something or for arguing for a particular cause She had no axe to grind and was only acting out of concern for their safety. These criticisms are commonly voiced by those who have some political axe to grind.

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