Ax or Axe – (Similarities and differences between the two)

Ax or Axe

The English language can be a bit complicated when it comes to “Ax or Axe”; this is because these words are homophones (words that sound alike) and have close meanings.

The only discrepancy is that one has an “e” while the other is written without an “e”. The more amazing difference is in the usage, of which one is used only in American English while the other is correct for British English.

As you read through this article, I will explain the difference between them, the usage, and the idioms associated with each of them, so read on.

Ax or Axe

Meaning of Ax:

Ax can be used as a verb and also a noun depending on the context of usage. It is the preferred usage in American English. Ax is a tool for chopping wood into portions but informally, it could also mean the division of a unit or release from employment.

Ax has a long wooden handle and an iron head that makes it heavy to carry. On the other hand, as a verb, it can mean the process of cutting down or removing something.


  • The only tool that can cut that wood is Jack’s Ax.
  • The only thing that can ax my relationship with Bob is dishonesty.
  • Use an ax to break the pipe since the fire couldn’t burn it.
  • The team was against the decision to ax the captain because of his goal drought.

Ax or Axe

Meaning of Axe:

Having the same meaning as “Ax”, the only difference is that “Axe” is the preferred usage in British English. It is also a tool for chopping wood into portions.


  • Get me Jackie Kac’s Axe that is behind the door.
  • I took the new axe to the blacksmith to sharpen.
  • Please hold that axe very well before it falls and breaks the ground.

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Ax or Axe – What’s the Plural:

I guess you will be wondering what the plural of Ax is; well, its Axes, same as the Axe. Ax or Axe have the same plural as Axes. Writing the plural of Ax as “Axs” is incorrect.


  • Take all those axes to the blacksmith first thing tomorrow morning.
  • How many axes did you travel with?
  • I kept only five axs inside the hut. (Incorrect).

Idioms associated Axe:

An Axe Hanging Over Something:

In an office, if an employee has an axe Hanging Over his head, he has the tendency of being fired or sacked.


  • Considering the downfall in the stock price, Jamie might have an axe Hanging Over her head.
  • Even if you decide to have an axe Hanging Over my head, I won’t still tell you the truth.

Get the Axe

In an office or a workplace, if you are getting the axe, it means you will lose your job or get fired.


  • I feel like I’m the only one getting the axe today.
  • Your performance in the show determines if you will get the axe or not.

Ax or Axe

Have an Axe to Grind

Generally, having an axe to grind means having a strong motive or reason for doing something. On the other hand, it could also mean a complaint you want to resolve with someone.


  • I think the coach doesn’t have an axe to grind; he only wants the team to perform better.
  • I still have an axe to grind with Jamie, notwithstanding the huge amount of money he gave me.

Awesome one, I hope this article answered your question.

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