knife

noun, often attributive
\ˈnīf \
plural knives\ˈnīvz \

Definition of knife 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade fastened to a handle

b : a weapon or tool resembling a knife

2 : a sharp cutting blade or tool in a machine

3 : surgery sense 4 usually used in the phrase under the knife

knife

verb
knifed; knifing

Definition of knife (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to use a knife on specifically : to stab, slash, or wound with a knife

2 : to cut, mark, or spread with a knife

3 : to try to defeat by underhanded means

4 : to move like a knife in birds knifing the autumn sky

intransitive verb

: to cut a way with or as if with a knife blade the cruiser knifed through the heavy seas

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Other Words from knife

Noun

knifelike \ˈnīf-ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for knife

Synonyms: Noun

blade, cutter

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Examples of knife in a Sentence

Noun

Each dinner guest gets two forks, a knife, and a spoon. He pulled a knife on me and threatened to stab me with it.

Verb

He died after being knifed in the chest. ships knifing through the waves
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

About a minute later, police received a second 911 call reporting a car crash less than a quarter-mile away from the knife attack, says Harran. Greg Hanlon, PEOPLE.com, "Pa. Woman Called 911 on Ex-Boyfriend Moments Before She Was Stabbed to Death," 10 July 2018 Zibar’s arrest came days after a brutal knife attack in the Israeli settlement of Halamish, near his home in the West Bank village of Kobar. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "Israel says that monitoring social media has cut ‘lone wolf’ attacks. Palestinians are crying foul.," 9 July 2018 An Oceanside firefighter fended off a knife attack by an arson suspect while responding to a call about a house fire late Thursday night, authorities said. Pauline Repard And City News Service, latimes.com, "Oceanside firefighter escapes injury in knife attack," 6 July 2018 The day after that, a young man was stabbed outside a Tesco in west London—the second knife attack in the capital in barely 24 hours. The Economist, "Crime is back on the political agenda," 14 June 2018 Kvitova, meanwhile, played her first tournament of 2017 at the French Open following a knife attack in her home five months earlier that left her with nerve damage to her left, playing hand. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "French Open: Lucky loser Marco Trungelliti hits jackpot after marathon journey," 28 May 2018 Kyriakos Savvas Georghiou was charged with murder and aggravated assault in October, following a fatal knife attack that left his mother dead and his father wounded. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Murderabilia for sale from Houston man accused of decapitating mother," 24 May 2018 Western security officials have also been concerned about radicalization among Chechens living in Europe and the U.S. French police secured a street in Paris on Saturday night after a knife attack near the Palais Garnier. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "Paris Knife Attacker Was Flagged as Potential Terror Risk," 13 May 2018 Thomas Samson/Getty Images Two people were killed, including the assailant, and at least four others were wounded in a knife attack on Saturday in Paris. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Paris knife attack: what we know so far," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 1999 Angela Merkel knifed Wolfgang Schäuble in a steely newspaper op-ed implicitly linking him to the corruption scandal that had consumed Helmut Kohl, his political mentor. The Economist, "The politics of migration in Germany," 21 June 2018 One simulation found that the shadows of the highest towers may knife a mile into the park on the winter solstice. Catherine Cusick, Longreads, "The Urban Crisis of Affluence," 21 June 2018 Lava from Kilauea has also downed power lines and knifed across highways. Sophia Yan And Malcolm Ritter, The Christian Science Monitor, "Hawaii volcano spews out lava ... and information for scientists," 7 June 2018 As Andersen regrouped and squared to the rebound, center Johan Larsson knifed toward the puck. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Ambiguous Goalie Interference Rules Continue to Bemuse NHL Ahead of Playoffs," 11 Apr. 2018 With the Wolf Pack rushing into the offensive zone, Drew Melanson, playing his second pro game out of Boston University, knifed the puck on net from the right side, and Gropp buried the rebound. Staff Report, courant.com, "Providence Bruins 6, Hartford Wolf Pack 3," 6 Apr. 2018 Within seconds, several marshals in green jackets (not those green jackets) knifed through the gallery. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "Masters crowd showers Tiger Woods with love, but he gives them little to cheer on Day 1," 5 Apr. 2018 But Bryan Braham knifed through and tackled Burkhead at the New England 9-yard line. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "After winning the Super Bowl, where can the Eagles improve? There's one obvious answer | Mike Sielski," 16 Mar. 2018 But Quinndary Weatherspoon, who led Mississippi State with 20 points, knifed through the lane for a layup seconds later. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Shorthanded Mizzou falls to Mississippi State," 27 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knife.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of knife

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1865, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for knife

Noun

Middle English knif, from Old English cnīf, perhaps from Old Norse knīfr; akin to Middle Low German knīf knife

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Statistics for knife

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for knife

The first known use of knife was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for knife

knife

noun

English Language Learners Definition of knife

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a usually sharp blade attached to a handle that is used for cutting or as a weapon

knife

verb

English Language Learners Definition of knife (Entry 2 of 2)

: to injure (someone) with a knife

: to move easily and quickly like a knife cutting through something

knife

noun
\ˈnīf \
plural knives\ˈnīvz \

Kids Definition of knife

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade fastened to a handle

2 : a cutting blade in a machine

knife

verb
knifes; knifed; knifing

Kids Definition of knife (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stab, slash, or wound with a knife

knife

noun
\ˈnīf \
plural knives\ˈnīvz \

Medical Definition of knife 

1 : any of various instruments used in surgery primarily to sever tissues: as

a : a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade attached to a handle

b : an instrument that cuts by means of an electric current

2 : surgery sense 3 usually used in the phrase under the knife went under the knife yesterday was afraid of the knife

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Comments on knife

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