axe

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See also: Axe and axé

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

An axe

From Middle English ax, axe, ex, from Old English æx, from Proto-West Germanic *akusi, from Proto-Germanic *akwisī, probably from a Proto-Indo-European *h₂egʷsih₂ (axe), from *h₂eḱ- (sharp, pointed). Compare German Axt, Danish økse, Icelandic öxi, and also Latin ascia.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • ax (largely US)

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: ăks, IPA(key): /æks/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æks

Noun[edit]

axe (plural axes)

  1. A tool for felling trees or chopping wood etc. consisting of a heavy head flattened to a blade on one side, and a handle attached to it.
  2. An ancient weapon consisting of a head that has one or two blades and a long handle.
  3. (informal) A dismissal or rejection.
    Synonyms: chop, pink slip, sack, boot
    His girlfriend/boss/schoolmaster gave him the axe.
    • 1975, Bob Dylan (lyrics and music), “Tangled Up in Blue”, in Blood on the Tracks:
      I had a job in the great North Woods / Workin' as a cook for a spell / But I never did like it all that much/ And one day the axe just fell
  4. (slang, music) A gigging musician's particular instrument, especially a guitar in rock music or a saxophone in jazz.
  5. (finance) A position, interest, or reason in buying and selling stock, often with ulterior motives.
    A financial dealer has an axe in a stock that his buyers don't know about, giving him an advantage in making the most profit.
Usage notes[edit]
  • In the United States, some spell the weapon axe and the tool ax to distinguish them, though most people use the same spelling for both senses.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

axe (third-person singular simple present axes, present participle axing, simple past and past participle axed)

  1. (transitive) To fell or chop with an axe.
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To lay off, terminate or drastically reduce, especially in a rough or ruthless manner; to cancel.
    Synonyms: downsize, fire, lay off; see also Thesaurus:lay off
    The government announced its plans to axe public spending.
    The broadcaster axed the series because far fewer people than expected watched it.
    He got axed in the last round of firings.
    • 2020 February 12, Mark Sweney, “Mobile World Congress axed after firms quit over coronavirus fears”, in The Guardian[1]:
      On Wednesday, GSMA, which organises the congress, was forced to admit it would have to axe this year’s event after more than 40 companies pulled out citing health and safety concerns.
    • 2020 June 17, Philip Haigh, “Capital for the capital to meet London's transport needs”, in Rail, page 28:
      The Department for Transport axed TfL's central grant in 2015, when Boris Johnson was London mayor.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

axe (plural axes)

  1. (archaic) The axle of a wheel.

Verb[edit]

axe (third-person singular simple present axes, present participle axing, simple past and past participle axed)

  1. To furnish with an axle.

Etymology 3[edit]

Old English axian (ask); see ax for more.

Verb[edit]

axe (third-person singular simple present axes, present participle axing, simple past and past participle axed)

  1. (now obsolete outside dialects, especially African-American Vernacular) Alternative form of ask

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin axis. Compare the inherited doublet ais.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

axe m (plural axes)

  1. axis
  2. axle

Further reading[edit]


Galician[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unknown. Cognate with Spanish aje.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

axe m (plural axes)

  1. ache
  2. affront
    Synonym: afronta

References[edit]


Interlingua[edit]

Noun[edit]

axe (plural axes)

  1. An axis, a straight line that crosses the center of a body and around which it turns.
  2. An axle, a bar connecting parallel wheels of a kart, wagon, etc.

Latin[edit]

Noun[edit]

axe

  1. ablative singular of axis

Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English æx.

Noun[edit]

axe

  1. Alternative form of ax

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English ǣsce, from Proto-Germanic *aiskijǭ.

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

axe

  1. (rare) An ask or demand.
Descendants[edit]
  • English: ask (if not formed from the verb)
References[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old English æsce.

Noun[edit]

axe

  1. Alternative form of asshe (burnt matter)

Etymology 4[edit]

From Old English āscian.

Verb[edit]

axe

  1. Alternative form of axen (to ask)