\ ˈadz How to pronounce adze (audio) \
variants: or less commonly adz

Definition of adze

: a cutting tool that has a thin arched blade set at right angles to the handle and is used chiefly for shaping wood

Illustration of adze

Illustration of adze

Examples of adze in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The pallets with firefighting equipment—chainsaws, shovels, beaters, Pulaskis (combination ax-adze tools)—are dropping into the landing zone. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "When wildfires break out, this elite team of ‘smokejumpers’ parachute in," 12 June 2019 Next to that, also at a 90 degree angle to the shaft, is an adze, a pear-sized steel point that can puncture the most solid walls and doors. Sean Flynn, Esquire, "The Perfect Fire," 9 Mar. 2017 Boxley uses a handcrafted adze, designed with the aid of his grandfather. Ron Judd, The Seattle Times, "A master carver creates a totem pole to honor his sister-in-law," 22 June 2017 At Schöneck, the lower leg bones of most of the young men showed a nearly identical pattern of blunt force breakage probably made by the Neolithic weapon of choice, the ax-like adze. Hillary Waterman, Discover Magazine, "This Means War!," 10 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adze.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adze

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adze

Middle English adse, adese, going back to Old English adesa, of obscure origin

Note: There are no forms directly comparable to Old English adesa in Germanic. See the lengthy but inconclusive discussion of the word in Anatoly Liberman, An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology: An Introduction (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), pp. 1-3.

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Time Traveler for adze

Time Traveler

The first known use of adze was before the 12th century

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Statistics for adze

Cite this Entry

“Adze.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for adze



English Language Learners Definition of adze

: a cutting tool that has a thin curved blade and is used for shaping wood


variants: also adz \ ˈadz \
plural adzes

Kids Definition of adze

: a cutting tool that has a thin curved blade at right angles to the handle and is used for shaping wood

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