hatch·​et | \ˈha-chət \

Definition of hatchet 

1 : a short-handled ax often with a hammerhead to be used with one hand

2 : tomahawk

Examples of hatchet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Prosecutors said Cooper left the hatchet sheath and the button there. latimes.com, "'They framed me': On death row for decades, Kevin Cooper pushes for new DNA tests in Chino Hills murders," 8 July 2018 The 60-year-old inmate was convicted of the 1983 Los Angeles-area hatchet and knife killings of four people. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, "Momentum grows to re-examine California case of convicted Death Row inmate," 18 May 2018 The recreational sport of hatchet throwing, a practice rooted in Viking and Native American traditions, is experiencing a comeback thanks to Stumpy's Hatchet House in Eatontown. Maria Carter, Country Living, "People Are Relieving the Stress of the Christmas Season By Throwing Hatchets," 1 Dec. 2016 Unfortunately, Pagenaud pretty much apologized for letting emotions get the best of him at the hatchet was buried. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: IndyCar could use a rivalry, will Rossi vs. Wickens, Sato persist?," 25 June 2018 The police found two unloaded 9mm handguns, 138 rounds of ammunition, including 60 hollow-point bullets, a machete and a hatchet in his car, the New York Daily News reported. Fleming Smith, ajc, "Georgia man arrested in New York bus terminal with arsenal of weapons," 5 June 2018 The evening before the murder, on May 9, 2004, Seaman purchased a hatchet at Home Depot. NBC News, "The judge who sentenced Nancy Seaman for murder now wants to set her free," 26 Apr. 2018 So what inspired Leakes and Zolciak-Biermann to bury the hatchet? Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "NeNe Leakes Shows Off Gift from Kim Zolciak-Biermann Days After Publicly Thanking Former Rival," 21 June 2018 Better for pols to bury the hatchet — but not in each other. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Senate race: Mike Braun wins GOP primary in huge upset over 2 sitting congressmen," 8 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hatchet

Middle English hachet, from Anglo-French hachette, diminutive of hache battle-ax — more at hash

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Statistics for hatchet

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hatchet

The first known use of hatchet was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for hatchet



English Language Learners Definition of hatchet

: a small ax that has a short handle


hatch·​et | \ˈha-chət \

Kids Definition of hatchet

: a small ax with a short handle


hatch·​et | \ˈhach-ət \

Medical Definition of hatchet 

: a dental excavator

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Comments on hatchet

What made you want to look up hatchet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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