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



    BrE BrE//ˈhæmə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhæmər//
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  1. 1   [countable] a tool with a handle and a heavy metal head, used for breaking things or hitting nails (figurative) The decision is a hammer blow for the steel industry. a gentle tap with a hammer He struck her on the head with a hammer. see also sledgehammer
  2. 2 [countable] a tool with a handle and a wooden head, used by a person in charge of an auction (= a sale at which things are sold to the person who offers the most money) in order to get people’s attention when something is just being sold to come/go under the hammer (= to be sold at auction) Forty modern Russian paintings went under the hammer at Christie’s today.
  3. in piano
  4. 3[countable] a small wooden part inside a piano, that hits the strings to produce a sound
  5. in gun
  6. 4[countable] a part inside a gun that makes the gun fire
  7. sport
  8. 5 [countable] a metal ball attached to a wire, thrown as a sport See related entries: Athletics
  9. 6 the hammer [singular] the event or sport of throwing the hammer See related entries: Athletics
  10. Word OriginOld English hamor, hamer, of Germanic origin: related to Dutch hamer, German Hammer, and Old Norse hamarr ‘rock’. The original sense was probably ‘stone tool’.Idioms if two people are at it hammer and tongs or go at it hammer and tongs, they argue or fight with a lot of energy and noise We could hear the neighbours going at it hammer and tongs.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hammer