n. & v.
1. a a tool with a heavy metal head at right angles to the handle, used for breaking, driving nails, etc. b a machine with a metal block serving the same purpose. c a similar contrivance, as for exploding the charge in a gun, striking the strings of a piano, etc.
2 an auctioneer's mallet, indicating by a rap that an article is sold.
3 a a metal ball of about 7 kg, attached to a wire for throwing in an athletic contest. b the sport of throwing the hammer.
4 a bone of the middle ear; the malleus.
1. a tr. & intr. hit or beat with or as with a hammer. b intr. strike loudly; knock violently (esp. on a door).
2 tr. a drive in (nails) with a hammer. b fasten or secure by hammering (hammered the lid down).
3 tr. (often foll. by in) inculcate (ideas, knowledge, etc.) forcefully or repeatedly.
4 tr. colloq. utterly defeat; inflict heavy damage on.
5 intr. (foll. by at, away at) work hard or persistently at.
6 tr. Stock Exch. declare (a person or a firm) a defaulter.
Phrases and idioms:
come under the hammer be sold at an auction. hammer and sickle the symbols of the industrial worker and the peasant used as the emblem of the USSR and of international communism. hammer and tongs colloq. with great vigour and commotion. hammer out
1. make flat or smooth by hammering.
2 work out the details of (a plan, agreement, etc.) laboriously.
3 play (a tune, esp. on the piano) loudly or clumsily. hammer-toe a deformity in which the toe is bent permanently downwards.
hammering n. (esp. in sense 4 of v.). hammerless adj.
Etymology: OE hamor, hamer