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haymaker ‎(plural haymakers)

  1. (agriculture) A person or machine which harvests or prepares tall grass for use as animal fodder.
    • 1853, Charlotte M. Yonge, The Heir of Redclyffe, ch. 7,
      A long rank of haymakers—men and women—proceeded with their rakes, the white shirt-sleeves, straw bonnets, and ruddy faces, radiant in the bath of sunshine.
  2. (informal, fisticuffs) A particularly powerful punch, especially one which knocks down an opponent, thrown like a scythe chop for cutting hay, as agricultural haymakers used to have strong arms.
    • 1997, George Church, "Newt's Day of Deliverance," Time, 20 Jan.,
      The saga of Newt Gingrich's ethics suddenly resembles a brawl between blindfolded boxers who flail away so wildly that each lands a haymaker on his own jaw.
  3. (figuratively, by extension) Any decisive blow, shock, or forceful action.
    • 2007, Shawn Tully, "Private equity: End of the golden age?," CNNMoney.com, 18 Jun. (retrieved 10 Sep. 2008),
      The real potential haymaker for the industry is a proposal, now gaining support in Congress, that would tax the profits private equity reaps on selling companies not at the low cap gains rate, but at the regular income tax rate.


  • "haymaker" at OneLook® Dictionary Search.