1

ax

noun \ ˈaks \
variants: or axe

Definition of ax

1 :a cutting tool that consists of a heavy edged head fixed to a handle with the edge parallel to the handle and that is used especially for felling trees and chopping and splitting wood
2 :a hammer with a sharp edge for dressing (see 1dress 6e) or spalling stone
3 informal
a :removal from office or release from employment :dismissal usually used with the
  • Employees with poor evaluations got the ax.
  • Trump quickly gave him the ax [=fired him] for his incompetence.
  • —Laura Petrecca
b :abrupt elimination or severe reduction of something
  • Unlimited expense accounts, signing bonuses, and office plants—all are getting the ax [=being cut or eliminated] thanks to corporate cost-cutting measures.
  • —Amanda Hinnant
  • No party was brave enough to offend its supporters by [=taking an axe to] [=severely reducing] expenditure.
  • The Economist
4 slang :any of several musical instruments (such as a guitar or a saxophone)
ax to grind
:an ulterior often selfish underlying purpose
  • claims that he has no ax to grind in criticizing the proposed law

Examples of ax in a Sentence

  1. the company was hemorrhaging money, so 700 employees would soon be given the ax

Recent Examples of ax from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of ax

Middle English, from Old English æcs; akin to Old High German ackus ax, Latin ascia, Greek axinē

ax Synonyms

Synonyms
layoff (or axe), discharge, dismissal, furlough, redundancy [chiefly British]
Related Words
pink slip; bird [chiefly British], boot, bum's rush, downsizing, firing, heave-ho, sack; closing, shutdown; shakeout, shake-up
Near Antonyms
callback, recall, reemployment, rehire, rehiring

Other Hardware Terms


2

ax

verb
variants: or axe

Definition of ax

axed; axing
transitive verb
1 a :to shape, dress (see 1dress 6e), or trim with an ax
  • ax stone
b :to chop, split, or sever with an ax
  • ax branches from a tree
2 informal :to remove abruptly (as from employment or from a budget)
  • The TV program was axed from the new schedule.

Examples of ax in a Sentence

  1. The boss told him that he had been axed.

  2. the boss will ax anyone who leaks company secrets

Recent Examples of ax from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of ax

see 1ax


3

ax

abbreviation

Definition of ax

1 axiom
2 axis

Ax

biographical name \ ˈaks \

Definition of Ax

Emanuel 1949–     American (Ukrainian-born of Polish parents) pianist


AX Defined for English Language Learners

ax

noun

Definition of ax for English Language Learners

  • : a tool that has a heavy metal blade and a long handle and that is used for chopping wood


ax

verb

Definition of ax for English Language Learners

  • : to cut or remove (something)

  • : to fire (someone)


AX Defined for Kids

ax

noun
variants: or axe \ˈaks\

Definition of ax for Students

:a tool that has a heavy head with a sharp edge fixed to a handle and is used for chopping and splitting wood

Medical Dictionary

ax

abbreviation

medical Definition of ax

axis


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