noun, often capitalized
ax·​el | \ ˈak-səl , ˈäk- \

Definition of axel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a jump in figure skating from the outer forward edge of one skate with 1¹/₂ turns taken in the air and a return to the outer backward edge of the other skate


biographical name
Ax·​el | \ ˈak-səl \

Definition of Axel (Entry 2 of 2)

Richard 1946–     American biochemist

Examples of axel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But just imagine skaters doing triple axels on a silvery mirror gallium surface. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The surprising science of why ice is so slippery," 31 Jan. 2019 Dancing with the Stars‘ all-athletes season will see a face-off between two history-making Olympic figure skaters, Tonya Harding and Mirai Nagasu, who made international headlines with their triple axel jumps nearly three decades apart. Adam Carlson,, "The Triple-Axel Face-Off: Historic Olympians Tonya Harding & Mirai Nagasu Will Compete on DWTS," 13 Apr. 2018 Wearing these styles with aplomb is like executing the triple axel of fashion: high level of difficulty, significant risk of failure, tremendous bragging rights if accomplished. Robin Givhan, The Seattle Times, "Are designers trolling us with ‘ugly’ fashion — or is it us?," 6 Aug. 2018 Nagasu, fourth in Vancouver, fell on her triple axel and earned a score of 66.93 for ninth place. USA TODAY, "Americans fall early and often as 2018 Winter Olympics women's figure skating begins," 21 Feb. 2018 Brown, ninth at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, did no quads Thursday and had a scratchy landing on his triple axel. Helene Elliott,, "Olympic dream in sight for an energetic Adam Rippon," 5 Jan. 2018 Nagasu, like her two American teammates, is not expected to win a medal, but the triple axel could still make her Winter Games appearance historic. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Is Mitt Romney the future or the past of the Republican Party?," 2 Feb. 2018 My inner goddess becomes the first person to execute a quadruple axel at the Winter Olympics. Peggy Truong, Cosmopolitan, "I Treated My Inner Goddess to a Jamie Dornan Movie Marathon and It Was Fifty Shades of Boring," 13 Feb. 2018 Finally, Nagasu joined their elite ranks in February, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, with a resounding triple axel in the figure skating team event that helped earn America a bronze medal. Adam Carlson,, "The Triple-Axel Face-Off: Historic Olympians Tonya Harding & Mirai Nagasu Will Compete on DWTS," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'axel.' 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 axel


1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for axel


Axel Paulsen †1938 Norwegian figure skater

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Dictionary Entries near axel






Axel Heiberg


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Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

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The first known use of axel was in 1930

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