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sledgehammer

[slej-ham-er] /ˈslɛdʒˌhæm ər/
noun
1.
a large heavy hammer wielded with both hands.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
2.
to hammer, beat, or strike with or as if with a sledgehammer.
adjective
3.
crudely or ruthlessly forceful; lacking all dexterity or grace:
the artist's sledgehammer approach.
Origin
1485-1495
1485-95; sledge2 + hammer
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sledge-hammer

sledgehammer

/ˈslɛdʒˌhæmə/
noun
1.
a large heavy hammer with a long handle used with both hands for heavy work such as forging iron, breaking rocks, etc
2.
(modifier) resembling the action of a sledgehammer in power, ruthlessness, etc: a sledgehammer blow
verb
3.
(transitive) to strike (something) with or as if with a sledgehammer
Word Origin
C15 sledge, from Old English slecg a large hammer; related to Old Norse sleggja, Middle Dutch slegge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for sledge-hammer

sledgehammer

n.

late 15c., from sledge (n.1) + hammer (n.). As a verb, from 1834. Old English had slegebytel "hammer," from beetle (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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