an axe to grind (2)

This page is about the idiom an axe to grind (2)

British English


If you have an axe to grind, you have a strong opinion about something and you express this opinion whenever you can.

For example

  • Billy's had this axe to grind about globalisation recently and he's always going on about it.

  • These people always seem to have an axe to grind and whenever someone interviews them they see it as a chance to push their ideas.

This idiom has at least two meanings, and the meaning given here is used mostly in British English. See "an ax to grind (1)" for another meaning that is used more in American English.


This idiom is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

People who have an axe to grind are always looking for a chance to

a. make some money

b. express their opinion

c. help other people
a) make some money b) express their opinion c) help other people

See Idiom of the Day today

Contributor: Matt Errey