Etymology
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axis (n.)

1540s, "imaginary motionless straight line around which a body (such as the Earth) rotates," from Latin axis "axle, pivot, axis of the earth or sky," from PIE *aks- "axis" (source also of Old English eax, Old High German ahsa "axle;" Greek axon "axis, axle, wagon;" Sanskrit aksah "an axle, axis, beam of a balance;" Lithuanian ašis "axle").

General sense of "straight line about which parts are arranged" is from 1660s. Figurative sense in world history of "alliance between Germany and Italy" (later extended unetymologically to include Japan) is from 1936. Original reference was to a "Rome-Berlin axis" in central Europe. The word later was used in reference to a London-Washington axis (World War II) and a Moscow-Peking axis (early Cold War).

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Definitions of axis
1
axis (n.)
a straight line through a body or figure that satisfies certain conditions;
axis (n.)
the main stem or central part about which plant organs or plant parts such as branches are arranged;
axis (n.)
a group of countries in special alliance;
Synonyms: bloc
axis (n.)
the 2nd cervical vertebra; serves as a pivot for turning the head;
Synonyms: axis vertebra
axis (n.)
the center around which something rotates;
Synonyms: axis of rotation
2
Axis (n.)
in World War II the alliance of Germany and Italy in 1936 which later included Japan and other nations;
From wordnet.princeton.edu