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

But don’t use metal spoons for stirring or knives for cutting to prevent wear and tear. Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Ceramic Cookware Sets to Buy in 2019, According to Kitchen Product Experts," 1 Mar. 2019 In between courses, Clemens himself, accompanied by ambient jazz piano and tiny sounds of knives clinking on glasses, got on the microphone to express his gratitude to all who were present and lead a group-wide toast. Charlotte Diamond, Vogue, "Telfar Hosts a Southern, Family-Style Dinner at The Standard," 14 Feb. 2019 For example, a fork and knife from your kitchen work just as well as a camping-specific titanium spork that runs $12. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "6 Tips for Making Outdoorsy Activities More Affordable," 20 Oct. 2018 Cut bead about 1-2 inches long with X-Acto or plastic clay knife. Sarah Newell, Seventeen, "11 Ridiculously Awesome DIY Gifts for Your BFFs," 12 Sep. 2018 But there is Jornet, right next to him, scritching out turns on 55-degree blue ice, downclimbing Class 5 rock and snow, slipping across knife ridges so narrow and airy that his skis stick out in both directions. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "Are Kilian Jornet's Speed Records Too Good to Be True?," 12 July 2018 Smash garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife or chop roughly, and add to marinade. Allegra Ben-amotz, WSJ, "This Ingredient Lights Up a Dish Like No Other," 18 Dec. 2018 Cut off bottom of stem, then use the tip of a small, sharp knife to cut off leaves close to stem. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Caper Vinaigrette," 30 Nov. 2018 The most impressive way to kick off any Champagne-fueled party is to saber a bottle, popping the cork from the wine with the swipe of a knife. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "A Champagne Lover’s Guide to Hosting a Last-Minute Bastille Day Soirée," 13 July 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

16 Mar 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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