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[hey-mey-ker] /ˈheɪˌmeɪ kər/
a person or machine that cuts hay and spreads it to dry.
Slang. a punch delivered with great force, especially one that results in a knockout.
Origin of haymaker
late Middle English
1400-50; 1910-15 for def 2; late Middle English heymakere. See hay, maker Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for haymaker
Historical Examples
  • But when thundershowers or occasional fogs or heavy dew came it was always open to us to put the grass through the haymaker.

    A Busy Year at the Old Squire's Charles Asbury Stephens
  • Had a lynx or other prowler captured the haymaker in the unsheltered hayfield?

    Watched by Wild Animals Enos A. Mills
  • Keep the rake, says the haymaker, as nigh the scythe as you can, and the cart as nigh the rake.

    Essays Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • As the man threw up his hands in an involuntary motion to shield his face, Johnny landed a haymaker square on his chin.

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • The sum total might be a quart, but would it be the same thing to the haymaker?

    Feeding the Mind Lewis Carroll
  • I would be a haymaker for nothing, if anybody would employ me; would not you, Peter?

    Holiday House Catherine Sinclair
  • I took careful aim and threw a haymaker, giving it everything I had.

    The Telenizer Don Thompson
  • As Bacon says, he wanted a friend with whom to toss his ideas as a haymaker tosses hay.

    A Tatter of Scarlet S. R. Crockett
  • But we never really raised a melon fit for the table until the old Squire and Addison invented the "haymaker."

    A Busy Year at the Old Squire's Charles Asbury Stephens
  • The haymaker was simply a long shed built against the south side of the barn.

    A Busy Year at the Old Squire's Charles Asbury Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for haymaker


a person who helps to cut, turn, toss, spread, or carry hay
Also called hay conditioner. either of two machines, one designed to crush stems of hay, the other to break and bend them, in order to cause more rapid and even drying
(boxing, slang) a wild swinging punch
Derived Forms
haymaking, adjective, noun
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 haymaker

mid-15c. as the name of an agricultural occupation (hay-making is attested from c.1400); 1910 in the sense of "very strong blow with the fist," from hay + agent noun of make; the punch probably so called for resemblance to the wide swinging stroke of a scythe. Haymaker punch attested from 1907.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for haymaker



  1. A very strong blow with the fist: smashes the kid with a wild haymaker
  2. Any powerful stroke or felling blow: Having her arrested would be a haymaker to your father
  3. Any supreme or definitive effort, performance, etc; winner: Her blues number was a haymaker

[1912+; probably fr the wide swinging stroke of a scythe in cutting hay]

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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