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take an axe to

To destroy or attempt to destroy something, usually something intangible. I'm worried that Sarah will want to take an axe to her whole project after hearing your criticism. Congress is going to take an axe to some of the existing laws once the new term starts. I'm afraid I'm going to have to take an axe to the treehouse since it's so rotted.
See also: axe, take

have an axe to grind

1. To have a complaint or dispute that one feels compelled to discuss. I think the boss has a bit of an axe to grind with you over the way the account was handled.
2. To have a personal motivation or selfish reason for saying or doing something. It was boy's-club attitudes like yours that made my time at school a living hell, so yeah, I have a bit of an axe to grind. I don't have an ax to grind here—I just want to know the truth.
See also: axe, grind, have

get the axe

1. To be fired. I'm going to get the ax if the boss finds out that printing error was my fault.
2. To be ended or stopped abruptly. I'm so disappointed that my favorite show got the axe this year.
See also: axe, get

get axed

Fig. to get fired. Betty and two of her friends got axed today.
See also: axe, get

have an ax(e) to grind

Fig. to have something to complain about. Tom, I need to talk to you. I have an ax to grind. Bill and Bob went into the other room to argue. They had an axe to grind.
See also: ax, grind, have

old battle-axe

a bossy old woman. She is such an old battle-axe. I'll bet she's hell to live with.
See also: old

get the ax

Also, get the boot or bounce or can or heave-ho or hook or sack . Be discharged or fired, expelled, or rejected. For example, He got the ax at the end of the first week, or The manager was stunned when he got the boot himself, or We got the bounce in the first quarter, or The pitcher got the hook after one inning, or Bill finally gave his brother-in-law the sack. All but the last of these slangy expressions date from the 1870s and 1880s. They all have variations using give that mean "to fire or expel someone," as in Are they giving Ruth the ax?Get the ax alludes to the executioner's ax, and get the boot to literally booting or kicking someone out. Get the bounce alludes to being bounced out; get the can comes from the verb can, "to dismiss," perhaps alluding to being sealed in a container; get the heave-ho alludes to heave in the sense of lifting someone bodily, and get the hook is an allusion to a fishing hook. Get the sack, first recorded in 1825, probably came from French though it existed in Middle Dutch. The reference here is to a workman's sac ("bag") in which he carried his tools and which was given back to him when he was fired. Also see give someone the air.
See also: ax, get

an axe hanging over someone

If there is an axe hanging over someone, they are likely to lose their job soon. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. I wouldn't say there's an axe hanging over him but he's only got another season to put everything right.
See also: axe, hanging, over, someone

an axe hanging over something

If there is an axe hanging over something, that thing is likely to be destroyed or ended soon. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. The axe was hanging over 600 jobs at oil giant BP last night.
See also: axe, hanging, over, something

get the axe


get the chop

1. If someone gets the axe or gets the chop, they lose their job. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. Business managers, executives and technical staff are all getting the axe. I've often wondered whether I'd have got the chop, if I'd stayed long enough to find out. Note: You can also say that someone is given the axe or is given the chop. She was last night given the axe from the hit TV show.
2. If something such as a project or part of a business gets the axe or gets the chop, it is ended suddenly. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. That is one of the TV shows likely to get the axe. Services to major towns and cities across England are getting the chop or being reduced. Note: You can also say that something is given the axe or is given the chop. A few days previously, the Westoe Colliery, the last pit in the region, was given the axe.
See also: axe, get

have an axe to grind

COMMON If someone has an axe to grind, they have particular attitudes about something, often because they think they have been treated badly or because they want to get an advantage. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. Lord Gifford believed cases should be referred by an independent agency which, as he put it, doesn't have an axe to grind. He didn't have a critical ax to grind. He was very open-minded about other people's work. Note: You can also say that you have no axe to grind to deny that your strong opinions about something are based on personal reasons. The unions insist they have no axe to grind, because they will represent operators wherever they work. Note: There are several explanations for the origin of this expression. One is a story told by Benjamin Franklin about a man who managed to get his own axe sharpened by asking a boy to show him how his father's grindstone worked.
See also: axe, grind, have

have an axe to grind

have a private, sometimes malign, motive for doing or being involved in something.
The expression originated in a story told by Benjamin Franklin and was used first in the USA, especially with reference to politics, but it is now in general use.
1997 Times I am a non-smoker, and have no personal axe to grind.
See also: axe, grind, have

have an ˈaxe to grind

(usually used in negative sentences) have private, often selfish, reasons for being involved in something: Having no particular political axe to grind, he stood for election as an independent candidate.
See also: axe, grind, have


n. a musical instrument. (Originally a saxophone.) Get out your axe and let’s jam.

get the ax

See also: ax, get

axe to grind

A selfish or ulterior aim: He claimed to be disinterested, but I knew he had an axe to grind.
See also: axe, grind
References in periodicals archive ?
Whistle Punks is looking to take the Urban Axe Throwing League worldwide and has plans to launch a European League in the near future.
Under cross-examination, he agreed he must have delivered blows causing all 17 axe wounds to Mr Denton.
The Battery has been known as The Battle Axe Company since that day.
As a result of the deal, Strike Axe will get 24 products that have generated millions of dollars in revenues, distribution channels across 18 countries and a large number of strategic relationships.
Some mystery still surrounds how the axe found its way to Germany, the museum said.
The axe is traditionally given to the biggest soldier in the regiment, but consideration is also be given to the candidate's ability to grow a healthy crop of facial hair.
I've been working with guys for more than a decade, and I've found that many need help with their hair, since not all guys have someone like me to make them look great," says Diana Schmidtke, grooming expert for Axe Hair who styles hair for some of Hollywood's leading men.
The top makers of these axes are Swedishmanufacturers Gransfors Bruk and this second Viking invasion can be seen in all its glory at Proadventure on Castle Street, Llangollen.
Hatchets are a combination tool, part hammer and part axe.
The main difference between the axe from Eesnurga and those mentioned above is that the former is remarkably longer, more slender and heavier than the latter.
When Europeans arrived in America, the metal axe came with them.
We live in a world populated by regimes run by axe murderers who have targeted many of our critical industries (and steel is one of the most critical) with a view toward not only acquiring and using them against us, but actually stripping us of the ability to defend ourselves.
COUNTRYSIDE: An inexpensive axe blade cover can be made from 3/4 inch automotive hose.
There is a blur of hands pulling and squeezing and grasping around Dine's artworks, along with the implied sounds of hammering, drilling, clanking, swishing, shoveling - sounds sometimes thwarted (The Red Axe, 1965).
BEING dubbed an axe man by colleagues sounds like a dubious honour.