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From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 give the axe
      v 1: terminate the employment of; "The boss fired his secretary
           today"; "The company terminated 25% of its workers"
           [syn: fire, give notice, can, dismiss, send
           away, sack, force out, give the sack, terminate]
           [ant: hire]
      2: terminate a relationship abruptly; "Mary gave John the axe
         after she saw him with another woman" [syn: give the
         bounce, give the gate]