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, shank [slang], shiv [slang]

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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

Use a large serrated knife to cut the squash roast crosswise into 8 thick slices, or 12 thinner ones (depending on the appetite of your guests). Joe Yonan, The Seattle Times, "Vegetarian (or vegan) guests for Thanksgiving? Serve them this beauty," 13 Nov. 2018 Schellenger and the bicyclist got into a verbal dispute, during which the bicyclist pulled a large knife from a backpack and stabbed the developer once in the back, Ryan said. Philly.com, "Philadelphia developer stabbed to death near Rittenhouse Square," 13 July 2018 The video then shows a man with what appears to be a large knife. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Justice For Junior: NY proposes legislation to require small businesses to be safe havens for minors," 13 July 2018 Mote, of 12 Vine St., Hartford, approached the victim at 350 Roberts St at about 7:30 p.m., displayed a large knife and demanded the man’s car keys, police spokesman Lt. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "East Hartford Police Say Knife-Wielding Robber Caught In Hartford," 12 July 2018 When a firefighter went back to inspect a bedroom, the man jumped out and swung a large knife at the firefighter, Specht said. Pauline Repard And City News Service, latimes.com, "Oceanside firefighter escapes injury in knife attack," 6 July 2018 During the argument Keith Lee said his wife grabbed a large kitchen knife and stabbed him in the chest before stabbing his motorcycle several times. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Woman accused of stabbing husband, then stabbing her husband's motorcycle," 4 July 2018 Witnesses said an argument outside the house led to Baldwin stabbing Hamilton with a large knife. Mark Davis, kansascity, "Woman sentenced to 23 years in 2016 stabbing death of Kansas City man," 23 June 2018 Then the woman drew a large knife, and started swiping at workers with it. Jared Gilmour, star-telegram, "She stole a Texas motel’s cash register. A large piece of wood was her weapon, video shows," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An uptick in knifing and homemade bomb attacks, blamed on Uighur militants, happened in China in 2014. Eva Dou, WSJ, "China’s Muslim Crackdown Extends to Those Living Abroad," 31 Aug. 2018 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

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

7 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on knife

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with knife

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for knife

Spanish Central: Translation of knife

Nglish: Translation of knife for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of knife for Arabic Speakers

Comments on knife

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