hatch·​et | \ ˈha-chət How to pronounce hatchet (audio) \

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

Common methods used throughout our history include axes, hatchets, blunt objects, knives, hanging, drowning, poison gas, poison, fire, and aircraft (and not just on 9/11). Clayton E. Cramer, National Review, "Mass Murder without Guns," 7 Aug. 2019 The task force also seized 35 knives, five batons, four hatchets, two body armor vests, brass knuckles, and $6,422 in cash at Leedham’s residence, officials said. Sofia Saric, BostonGlobe.com, "Rhode Island Hell’s Angel member sentenced to 7 years in prison for drug trafficking and firearms charge," 29 July 2019 The agency’s Instagram account showcases many of its more unusual finds: hatchets, brass knuckles, even live eels. Washington Post, "A man was caught traveling with a missile launcher in his luggage at BWI," 29 July 2019 The two hug it out and appear to bury the hatchet, both on screen and off. Janine Rubenstein, PEOPLE.com, "R & Beef? Drake and Chris Brown Recast Their Alleged 2012 Brawl as a Dance Battle in New Video," 26 July 2019 Throwers using hatchets, which are the standard throwing axes, are required to stand 170 inches away from the target. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "As ax-throwing surges in popularity, Urban Open tournament returns to Baltimore," 19 July 2019 That didn't come as much of a surprise to Price, who told reporters Wednesday that Eckersley apparently reneged on a meeting two years ago in which the two were supposed to bury the hatchet and move on. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "David Price vs. Dennis Eckersley feud rages on two years later: 'I just think it's trash'," 17 July 2019 About a decade ago, Peter Buchanan-Smith, a Canadian designer living in New York City, found himself in need of a hatchet to make some kindling. Jonny Diamond, Longreads, "Lumbersexuality, a Sport and a Pastime," 8 June 2019 The minimum guest age is 21—which makes sense because people are literally drinking beer and throwing hatchets around. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "Axe Throwing: the Hot New Happy Hour Alternative and Low-Key Workout," 20 July 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

11 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce hatchet (audio) \

Kids Definition of hatchet

: a small ax with a short handle


hatch·​et | \ ˈhach-ət How to pronounce hatchet (audio) \

Medical Definition of hatchet

: a dental excavator

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More from Merriam-Webster on hatchet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hatchet

Spanish Central: Translation of hatchet

Nglish: Translation of hatchet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hatchet for Arabic Speakers

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).


to shake or wave menacingly

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