poleax

poleax

[pohl-aks]
noun, plural poleaxes [pohl-ak-siz] .
1.
a medieval shafted weapon with blade combining ax, hammer, and apical spike, used for fighting on foot.
2.
an ax, usually with a hammer opposite the cutting edge, used in stunning and slaughtering animals.
3.
an ax with both a blade and a hook, formerly used in naval warfare to assist sailors in boarding vessels.
verb (used with object), poleaxed, poleaxing.
4.
to strike down or kill with or as if with a poleax.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English pollax battle-ax, literally, head-ax (see poll1, ax); akin to Middle Low German polexe

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World English Dictionary
poleaxe or (US) poleax (ˈpəʊlˌæks)
 
n
1.  another term for battle-axe
2.  a former naval weapon with an axe blade on one side of the handle and a spike on the other
3.  an axe used by butchers to slaughter animals
 
vb
4.  (tr) to hit or fell with or as if with a poleaxe
 
[C14 pollax battle-axe, from poll + axe]
 
poleax or (US) poleax
 
n
 
vb
 
[C14 pollax battle-axe, from poll + axe]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

poleax
"kind of axe used as a weapon or by butchers," c.1300, pollax, from pol "head" (see poll) + ax. From notion of either beheading or head-splitting. Spelling alt. 17c. by confusion with pole (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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