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[ak-suh l] /ˈæk səl/
Machinery. the pin, bar, shaft, or the like, on which or by means of which a wheel or pair of wheels rotates.
the spindle at either end of an axletree.
an axletree.
Origin of axle
before 900; Middle English axel, Old English eaxl shoulder, crossbeam (in eaxle-gespann); cognate with Old Frisian ax(e)le, Old Saxon ahsla, Old High German ahsala shoulder (German Achsel), Old Norse ǫxl, Latin āla (< derivative of *akslā)
Related forms
axled, adjective
unaxled, adjective
Can be confused
axel, axle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for axle
  • Wheels on a car rotate around a strong horizontal bar called an axle.
  • Most drivers are barely aware of their wheels, the metal rims that connect the tires to the axle.
  • axle grease also freezes and is warmed with a blowtorch.
  • The accident was caused by the breaking of an axle of the express car.
  • The new configuration, called rear-mid-engine, places the motor under the rear seat and over the rear axle.
  • When you put the blocks together in certain ways, you can even make a sort of axle that spins.
  • The plan was to attach blades to the back axle of a bicycle and generate electricity through a bike dynamo.
  • Not something that will do in a pinch, but a boxed, branded windmill axle.
  • Than his bright throne, or burning axle-tree could bear.
  • Then an oaken stake is driven into the ground and a wheel is fixed on it as on an axle.
British Dictionary definitions for axle


a bar or shaft on which a wheel, pair of wheels, or other rotating member revolves
Word Origin
C17: from Old Norse öxull; related to German Achse; see axis1
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 axle

"pole or pin upon which a wheel revolves," Middle English axel-, from some combination of Old English eax and Old Norse öxull "axis," both from Proto-Germanic *akhsulaz (cf. Old English eaxl, Old Saxon ahsla, Old High German ahsala, German Achsel "shoulder"), from PIE *aks- "axis" (see axis). Found only in compound axle-tree before 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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axle in Technology
An early string processing language in which a program consists of an "assertion table" specifying patterns and an "imperative table" specifying replacements.
["AXLE: An Axiomatic Language for String Transformations", K. Cohen et al, CACM 8(11):657-661, Nov 1965].
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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