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[pik-aks] /ˈpɪkˌæks/
noun, plural pickaxes.
a pick, especially a mattock.
verb (used with object), pickaxed, pickaxing.
to cut or clear away with a pickax.
verb (used without object), pickaxed, pickaxing.
to use a pickax.
Origin of pickax
1275-1325; pick2 + ax; replacing Middle English picois < Middle French, Old French; akin to French pic pick2. See pique1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pickax
  • Had to break the snow loose from the skis with a pickax handle while the prop was turning, and then jump into the airplane.
  • Sift it, break off the frozen top layer with a pickax, crush the larger pieces with a ram.
  • Using its beak as a pickax and claws to dig, this bird can create hollow chambers up to three feet in length.
  • The trophy on the right incorporates a pickax and spade.
  • So he went and got the pickax, and he's digging into this rock.
  • The ore in the bed before the miner has touched it with his pickax has cost money in the form of labor.
British Dictionary definitions for pickax


a large pick or mattock
to use a pickaxe on (earth, rocks, etc)
Word Origin
C15: from earlier pikois (but influenced also by axe), from Old French picois, from picpick²; compare also pique1
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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