sledgehammer

noun
sledge·​ham·​mer | \ˈslej-ˌha-mər \

Definition of sledgehammer 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: a large heavy hammer that is wielded with both hands also : something that resembles a sledgehammer in action

sledgehammer

verb
sledgehammered; sledgehammering; sledgehammers

Definition of sledgehammer (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to strike with or as if with a sledgehammer

intransitive verb

: to strike blows with or as if with a sledgehammer

sledgehammer

adjective

Definition of sledgehammer (Entry 3 of 3)

: marked by heavy-handed directness or hard-hitting force trusting in sledgehammer warfare— C. J. Rolo

Examples of sledgehammer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The walls have fallen, or at least someone put a sledgehammer through them. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: The Xbox 360 controller's continued dominance, Ace Attorney on PC, and The Crew 2's free weekend," 28 Sep. 2018 Noticeably missing from the VMAs performance, however, was the quick cameo Madonna makes partway through the video, reciting a Bible verse while Ariana, wielding a sledgehammer, lip-syncs along. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's VMAs 2018 Performance of "God is a Woman" Was a Religious Experience," 21 Aug. 2018 The Simpsons made a splash by pulling apart the tropes and ideas that TV had been built on for decades, taking a sledgehammer to the structure of the family sitcom. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "12 years after mocking Al Gore’s fight against climate change, South Park reconsiders," 14 Nov. 2018 In 2016, Otis — heir to the Otis elevator company — also used a pickax (and sledgehammer) to destroy the star, all while dressed as a construction worker. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Bail for the 24-Year-Old Who Destroyed Trump's Walk of Fame Star Was Set at $20,000," 26 July 2018 About two hours later, one of the men came back to the store with a sledgehammer and excavating tool, the ATF stated. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "ATF offers $11K reward for help solving Spring gun store break-in," 26 Apr. 2018 The building lost nearly all of its windows, its copper roofing was stripped and the stone facade was splashed with graffiti and smashed with sledgehammers. Dan Austin And Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Archive: Once crown jewel, Detroit train station now symbol of ruin," 11 June 2018 Los Angeles police in 2016 arrested a man who pleaded no contest to destroying Trump’s star with a sledgehammer and pickax about a week after Trump was elected. Fox News, "George Lopez uses water bottle to pretend to urinate on Trump's star in Hollywood," 12 July 2018 In a December 2016 Secret Santa exchange, his teammate Jacob Herbers, riffing on Coffey’s nickname, bought a sledgehammer at the Home Depot, gift-wrapped it and gave it to him. Pat Borzi, New York Times, "A College World Series Filled With Hog Hats, Hammers and Championship Belts," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This aluminum-block five is a beast, spinning out a lag-free 400 horsepower and sledgehammering 354 pound-feet of torque from 1700 rpm all the way to 5850 rpm. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "Keep Audi Weird! An Ode to the RS3’s Riotous Five-Cylinder Engine," 26 Jan. 2018 Also, remember that sidewalks aren’t that difficult or expensive to sledgehammer out and rebuild a few feet away. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "How to get berries on a yaupon holly," 5 Jan. 2018 Historians have been trying to sledgehammer people into remembering these events. Washington Post, "Singer, fiddler Rhiannon Giddens: Crossing musical divides," 2 Nov. 2017 Bungling criminal Kylie yells as her ATM robbery goes awry (her partner knocks himself out trying to sledgehammer the machine). Lincoln Michel, GQ, "Housebound Is a Horror Comedy That Will Actually Make You Laugh," 21 Oct. 2017 Rhett LeCompte of Houma and two of his buddies have sledgehammered a niche on social media that dubs Cajun phrases, accents and topics over iconic movie scenes. NOLA.com, "Houma resident dubs Cajun sayings over iconic movie scenes," 30 June 2017

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1834, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Adjective

1827, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near sledgehammer

sledding

sled dog

sledge

sledgehammer

sledger

sled harvester

sled-length

Statistics for sledgehammer

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sledgehammer

The first known use of sledgehammer was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for sledgehammer

sledgehammer

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sledgehammer

: a large, heavy hammer with a long handle

sledgehammer

noun
sledge·​ham·​mer | \ˈslej-ˌha-mər \

Kids Definition of sledgehammer

: a large heavy hammer usually used with both hands

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More from Merriam-Webster on sledgehammer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sledgehammer

Spanish Central: Translation of sledgehammer

Nglish: Translation of sledgehammer for Spanish Speakers

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