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ax

[aks] /æks/
noun, plural axes
[ak-siz] /ˈæk sɪz/ (Show IPA)
1.
an instrument with a bladed head on a handle or helve, used for hewing, cleaving, chopping, etc.
2.
Jazz Slang. any musical instrument.
3.
the ax, Informal.
  1. dismissal from employment:
    to get the ax.
  2. expulsion from school.
  3. rejection by a lover, friend, etc.:
    His girlfriend gave him the ax.
  4. any usually summary removal or curtailment.
verb (used with object), axed, axing.
4.
to shape or trim with an ax.
5.
to chop, split, destroy, break open, etc., with an ax:
The firemen had to ax the door to reach the fire.
6.
Informal. to dismiss, restrict, or destroy brutally, as if with an ax:
The main office axed those in the field who didn't meet their quota. Congress axed the budget.
Also, axe.
Idioms
7.
have an ax to grind, to have a personal or selfish motive:
His interest may be sincere, but I suspect he has an ax to grind.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English; ax(e), ex(e), Old English æx, æces; akin to Gothic aquizi, Old Norse øx, ǫx, Old High German acc(h)us, a(c)kus (German Axt), Middle High German plural exa < Germanic *akwiz-, akuz-, aksi-*ákəs, áks-; Latin ascia (< *acsiā), Greek axī́nē; < Indo-European *ag-s-
Related forms
axlike, adjective

ax-

1.
variant of axi-, especially before a vowel.

ax.

1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ax

axe

/æks/
noun (pl) axes
1.
a hand tool with one side of its head forged and sharpened to a cutting edge, used for felling trees, splitting timber, etc See also hatchet
2.
an axe to grind
  1. an ulterior motive
  2. a grievance
  3. a pet subject
3.
(informal) the axe
  1. dismissal, esp from employment; the sack (esp in the phrase get the axe)
  2. (Brit) severe cutting down of expenditure, esp the removal of unprofitable sections of a public service
4.
(US, slang) any musical instrument, esp a guitar or horn
verb (transitive)
5.
to chop or trim with an axe
6.
(informal) to dismiss (employees), restrict (expenditure or services), or terminate (a project)
Word Origin
Old English æx; related to Old Frisian axa, Old High German acchus, Old Norse öx, Latin ascia, Greek axinē
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ax
n.

see axe (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ax in Medicine

ax abbr.
axis

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for ax

ax

noun
  1. Any musical instrument, esp the saxophone: He played his ax at the casino (1950s+ Jazz musicians)
  2. A guitar (Rock and roll)
verb
  1. To dismiss someone from a job, a team, a school, a relationship, etc; can, fire: who suggested to Reagan that Deaver be axed
  2. To eliminate; cut: They axed a lot of useless stuff from the budget

[musical instrument sense fr the resemblance in shape between a saxophone and an ax, and possibly fr the rhyme with sax]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for ax

AX

ask (shortwave transmission)

ax.

  1. axiom
  2. axis
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with ax

ax

In addition to the idiom beginning with ax also see: get the ax
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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