Definition of sledgehammer in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈslejˌhamər/


1A large, heavy hammer used for such jobs as breaking rocks and driving in fence posts.
Example sentences
  • We succeeded in moving some rocks, breaking up several large ones with sledgehammers before we broke the handles on Dave and Stan's largest hammers.
  • To get to the watches, the thieves had to break half-inch thick glass with a sledgehammer or other heavy implement.
  • In the other picture, five black men in undershirts and overalls are driving a massive iron support into the ground with heavy sledgehammers.
1.1 [as modifier] Powerful; forceful: sledgehammer blows
More example sentences
  • Though the famous corkscrew left crashed to its mark on Darcy's chin with all its old-time power, the psychological effect of its impotency was almost as unnerving as were Darcy's own sledgehammer blows.
  • Jobs have been lost all over the US - but Ohio has been hit by a series of sledgehammer blows.
  • Was that feeling not worth this disabling sledgehammer blow of sorrow?
1.2 [as modifier] Ruthless, insensitive, or using unnecessary force: under his sledgehammer direction, anything of subtlety is swamped
More example sentences
  • Yet Robbins's mix of pile-driver satire and sledgehammer sentiment crushes this enthusiasm by making one thing appallingly clear: just because you are on the side of the angels, it doesn't mean you are any good.
  • This has given him more freedom to come and go as he pleases, and not worry about where he's going and who he's seeing, without having the possibility of a sledgehammer response coming from the homeland.
  • His argument isn't funny, though - it's a sledgehammer use of manipulative language to bluff Australians into believing they can't decide against war.


[with object]
Hit with a sledgehammer.
Example sentences
  • They had sledgehammered the door and it caved in.
  • The stakes are sledgehammered into the ground about 10 to 12 inches and two 3-inch sheetrock screws are used to secure each stake.
  • Hence, I spent a good morning on Sunday sledgehammering the concrete fenceposts out of the front garden.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sledge·ham·mer

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