a large heavy hammer wielded with both hands.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to hammer, beat, or strike with or as if with a sledgehammer.
crudely or ruthlessly forceful; lacking all dexterity or grace: the artist's sledgehammer approach.

1485–95; sledge2 + hammer Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sledgehammer (ˈslɛdʒˌhæmə)
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
3.  (tr) to strike (something) with or as if with a sledgehammer
[C15 sledge, from Old English slecg a large hammer; related to Old Norse sleggja, Middle Dutch slegge]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
It opted, probably in the last seventy-two hours, for the sledgehammer.
Six foot three, and could use a nine-pound sledgehammer with one hand.
At one point, officers with a sledgehammer and a crowbar disappeared into a
  back room.
However, as drafted it has a major flaw--it uses a sledgehammer when a scalpel
  is desired.
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