Axe to grind
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British pronunciation/ˈaks tə ɡɹˈaɪnd/
American pronunciation/ˈæks tə ɡɹˈaɪnd/
01

a hidden personal motive or vested interest in a matter

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axe to grind definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "axe to grind" and when to use it?

The idiom "axe to grind" comes from a story by Charles Miner, published in 1815. In this story, a man falsely accused another of having an axe to grind and made it a metaphor for having a hidden agenda or personal interest in a matter. It is used to refer to someone who has a personal motive or vested interest in something rather than being objective or impartial.

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Example
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Some politicians seem to have an axe to grind when they push certain policies for personal gain.
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Meaning of "Axe to grind"
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