Have a self-serving reason for doing or being involved in something: she joined the board because she had an ax to grind with the school system
More example sentences
- They are also dependent on informers who, as we journalists know, can sometimes misinform, especially if they have an axe to grind or a political goal to pursue.
- Even if the political insider seems to have an ax to grind, political junkies never tire of their ‘I Was There’ versions of history.
- I've had political science classes where the professor doesn't really have an ax to grind per se, but you can tell that he comes from a certain perspective.
Definition of have an ax to grind in:
- The British & World English dictionary