Meaning of “axe” in the English Dictionary

"axe" in English

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axenoun [ C ]

US also ax uk /æks/ us /æks/

a tool that has a heavy iron or steel blade at the end of a long wooden handle, used for cutting wood:

Julian used an axe to chop down the old apple tree.
the axe US also the ax

the situation in which someone loses their job:

Over 500 staff are facing the axe.
get the axe US also get the ax

When a service, plan, etc. gets the axe, it is stopped or prevented from happening:

Religious programmes will be the first to get the axe if she's put in charge of the station.

axeverb [ T ]

US also ax uk /æks/ us /æks/

(Definition of “axe” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"axe" in Business English

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axeverb [ T ]

also US ax uk /æks/ us

HR, WORKPLACE, MANAGEMENT to get rid of large numbers of employees, especially in order to reduce costs:

axe jobs/posts/staff One of the UK's biggest retailers yesterday unveiled plans to axe up to 1,000 jobs in an attempt to kickstart its recovery.

to stop providing a particular service because it is no longer profitable:

Increased competition has forced several low-cost airlines to axe flights on major routes.


also US ax uk /æks/ us
get/be given the axe

if employees, services, etc. get the axe or are given the axe, a decision is made to get rid of them:

A planned expansion of Wyoming health programs could get the ax next year.
face the axe

HR, WORKPLACE, MANAGEMENT if employees face the axe, they may lose their jobs, especially because their employer needs to reduce costs:

Hundreds of construction workers are facing the axe after a fall in demand for new housing.
take an axe to sth/wield the axe

HR, WORKPLACE, MANAGEMENT to decide to get rid of a large number of employees or to no longer provide particular services:

Legislators are considering taking an ax to the latest spending plans.
Companies have to know how to wield the axe when market conditions demand it.
the axe falls

HR, WORKPLACE, MANAGEMENT if the axe falls, a company needs to get rid of a large number of employees or can no longer afford to provide particular services:

The axe fell after the successful conclusion of merger talks between two of Germany's biggest banks.
have an axe to grind

to have a strong opinion about something that you want other people to accept:

Most shareholders have no ax to grind other than keeping company management honest.

(Definition of “axe” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)