: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
:a hammer with a sharp edge for dressing (see 1dress 6e) or spalling stone
: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
: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
: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