[hach-it] /ˈhætʃ ɪt/

a small, short-handled ax having the end of the head opposite the blade in the form of a hammer, made to be used with one hand.
a tomahawk.
verb (used with object)
to cut, destroy, kill, etc., with a hatchet.
to abridge, delete, excise, etc.:
The network censor may hatchet 30 minutes from the script.
bury the hatchet, to become reconciled or reunited; make peace.
take up the hatchet, to begin or resume hostilities; prepare for or go to war:
The natives are taking up the hatchet against the enemy.
a short axe used for chopping wood, etc
a tomahawk
(modifier) of narrow dimensions and sharp features: a hatchet face
bury the hatchet, to cease hostilities and become reconciled

c.1300 “small ax” (mid-12c. in surnames), from Old French hachete, diminutive of hache “ax, battle-axe, pickaxe,” possibly from Frankish *happja or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hæbijo (cf. Old High German happa “sickle, scythe”), from PIE root *kop- “to beat, strike” (cf. Greek kopis “knife;” Lithuanian kaplys “hatchet,” kapoti “cut small;” Old Church Slavonic skopiti “castrate”).

In Middle English, hatch itself was used in a sense “battle-axe.” In 14c., hang up (one’s) hatchet meant “stop what one is doing.” Phrase bury the hatchet (1794) is from a supposed Native American peacemaking custom. Hatchet-man was originally California slang for “hired Chinese assassin” (1880), later extended figuratively to journalists who attacked the reputation of a public figure (1944).


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  • Hatchet-face

    noun 1. a thin face with sharp features.

  • Hatchetfish

    [hach-it-fish] /ˈhætʃ ɪtˌfɪʃ/ noun, plural (especially collectively) hatchetfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) hatchetfishes. 1. any deep-sea of the genera Argyropelicus, Sternoptyx, and related genera, of tropical and temperate waters, having a silvery, hatchet-shaped body. 2. Also called flying characin. any of several freshwater of the genera Carnegiella, Gasteropelecus, and Thorachocharax, […]

  • Hatchet-job

    noun 1. a maliciously destructive critique or act: The special committee has done a hatchet job on the new proposal. noun 1. (informal) a malicious or devastating verbal or written attack noun phrase see: hatchet man , def. 2.

  • Hatchet-man

    noun 1. a professional murderer. 2. a writer or speaker who specializes in defamatory attacks, as on political candidates or public officials. 3. a person whose job it is to execute unpleasant tasks for a superior, as dismissing employees. noun (informal) 1. a person carrying out unpleasant assignments for an employer or superior 2. (US […]

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