\ 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 Ghoulish revenants prey upon the living everywhere from Australia (yara-ma-yha-who) to West Africa (obayifo, adze and sasabonsam) to South America (soucouyant and peuchen). Roy Schwartz, CNN, 2 Apr. 2022 The pallets with firefighting equipment—chainsaws, shovels, beaters, Pulaskis (combination ax-adze tools)—are dropping into the landing zone. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, 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, 9 Mar. 2017 Boxley uses a handcrafted adze, designed with the aid of his grandfather. Ron Judd, The Seattle Times, 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, 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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Learn More About adze

Time Traveler for adze

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near adze

adz block


adz-eye hammer

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Statistics for adze

Last Updated

5 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adze.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for adze


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

More from Merriam-Webster on adze Encyclopedia article about adze


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