have an ax to grind
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to have an ax to grind: get the axe
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.
have an ax to grindalso have an axe to grind
1. to have a selfish reason for saying or doing something The best reporting is done by people who don't have an ax to grind. After you get the same complaints from a number of people, you begin to think it may not be just people who have personal axes to grind.
2. to have a strong opinion about something that influences your actions I don't have an ax to grind about the fact that Christmas has become commercialized.