Definition of mattock in English:



  • An agricultural tool shaped like a pickaxe, with an adze and a chisel edge as the ends of the head.

    • ‘He produced a mattock out of his donkey-cart and had several peasant boys dig a hole.’
    • ‘Other tools include a wheel cultivator, pickax, and mattock.’
    • ‘An ax or mattock will come in handy to chop out the roots that you will inevitably encounter.’
    • ‘Using this, and a bladed tool like a mattock, it takes him 15 days to prepare the ground for planting.’
    • ‘The steady thunk, thunk of the mattock as he worked through the stony ground was inspiring, not just for me but for several neighbours, who came out to work in their own gardens.’
    • ‘The women toil in the broiling sun, backs bent, feet bare, working for hours at a stretch with a mattock, for most the only tool for every job.’
    • ‘Hole planting can be done with a mattock, hoe or shovel.’
    • ‘They were quickly replacing their automatic rifles and machine-guns with spades and mattocks.’
    • ‘I noticed it when I realized I was using my mattock as a pry bar, not for rocks, as was intended, but for myself.’
    • ‘Kill weeds with glyphosate herbicide, pull them by hand, or chop them with a hoe or mattock and rake them up.’
    • ‘Then, with a mattock and shovel, we dug into the side of the hill to make a spot for a level platform, which needed to be heavily reinforced because most of the hillside consisted of loose rock and shale.’
    • ‘They began to hack at the hard, dehydrated earth, with mattocks, breaking up the soil and watering it enough to plant vegetables.’
    • ‘Laborers used tools resembling mattocks or hoes for digging and used woven reed baskets for hauling dirt and debris.’
    • ‘One of my favorite tools from my farming days on the Big Island is a miniature version of the mattock.’
    • ‘Tinkering in his blacksmith shop, he created a tool that's half ax, half mattock, and ideal for digging firebreaks.’
    • ‘Fields are generally tiny, and you sometimes see a man ploughing one with a tractor, or a woman weeding one with a mattock.’
    • ‘Crews dropped their saws and mattocks and fled.’
    • ‘There is no need to have a pick and a hoe, if you have a mattock.’
    • ‘Today the tool, described as combining an axe with either a mattock or grub hoe, is sold for gardening and clearing nature trails, as well as firefighting.’
    • ‘Common forms of evidence include areas of discoloration on the walls of the cave, which demonstrate previous floor or sediment levels, and partially excavated deposits which preserve mattock or other metal tool marks.’


Old English mattuc, of uncertain origin.