knife

noun, often attributive
\ ˈnīf How to pronounce knife (audio) \
plural knives\ ˈnīvz How to pronounce knives (audio) \

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 How to pronounce knifelike (audio) \ 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

Armed with knives, Filho and Erickson Gomes stole cigars and over $1,000 cash on July 11, 2015, from a CVS pharmacy on Kempton Street in New Bedford, a Hess Gas station in Taunton, and Junior’s Convenience Store in Freetown. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "Brockton man sentenced to 6 to 8 years for three 2015 robberies," 1 July 2019 Two people armed with knives robbed an Emeryville makeup store Friday evening, police said. Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, "Two arrested in Emeryville makeup store armed robbery," 29 June 2019 Three men emerged with knives and attacked people on the bridge and nearby Borough Market. Washington Post, "Inquest slams lack of protection in London Bridge attack," 29 June 2019 Place the peanuts in a mortar and pestle, let cool, and roughly crush (or roughly chop with a knife); return to their bowl. Ben Mims, latimes.com, "Grilled Rib-Eye Steak with Pistachio Gremolata and Charred Balsamic Broccolini," 26 June 2019 The prosecutor's office said Logan exited the vehicle and approached the officer with a knife raised and the officer opened fire, according to the AP. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "Protestors ask Pete Buttigieg about black lives matter movement during heated confrontation," 22 June 2019 See above for more on the gator with a knife in its head. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "$1,000 reward in case of Sugar Land gator stabbed in the head," 20 June 2019 Logan reportedly got out of the car and approached the officer with a knife raised. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Pete Buttigieg Cancels Presidential Campaign Events After Fatal Police Shooting In South Bend," 18 June 2019 The 15-year-old was seen on surveillance footage being dragged out of a convenience store before he was surrounded by a large group outside and attacked with knives, including a machete. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "Five guilty of murder in mistaken identity gang slaying of Bronx teen," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Trish, cornered, goes to fatally knife Jessica in order to escape. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Don't Have Time To Watch Jessica Jones Season 3? This Is How It Ends," 15 June 2019 The news is filled with scary stories, like a tourist bus being bombed near Egypt’s pyramids, people being knifed at a bus stop in Japan, and continuing coverage of the two Boeing 737 Max air crashes, both of which happened overseas. Jay L. Zagorsky, Quartz, "It’s more dangerous to live in America than to travel abroad," 12 June 2019 Anna Huynh and her husband, John Yap, knifed through the final course of the evening: Palestinian chicken qidra, a traditional dish served alongside basmati rice with chickpeas, herbs and spices. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Must Reads: At this L.A. supper club, refugees share food and memories of the lives they left behind," 31 May 2019 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

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

6 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce knife (audio) \
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 How to pronounce knife (audio) \
plural knives\ ˈnīvz How to pronounce knives (audio) \

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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