axe noun

1 tool

VERB + AXE brandish, carry, hold, wield A man used to wielding an axe fought best on foot. | chop sth down/up with, use | swing | sharpen

AXE + VERB fall The executioner's axe fell.

PREP. with an/the ~ to chop a tree down with an axe

PHRASES a blow from/of an axe With a few swift blows of the axe, she severed the cable.

2 the axe: complete loss of sth/big reduction in sth

VERB + AXE swing, wield Wielding the axe on the prison plan would be one way of saving money. | face Up to 300 workers are facing the axe at a struggling Merseyside firm. | save sb/sth from Patients are delighted their local hospital has been saved from the axe.

AXE + VERB fall We were expecting bad news but had no idea where the axe would fall (= where the loss/reduction would be).