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

The agency also regulates what travelers can carry on planes with items like knives, box cutters, darts, baseball bats and scissors now banned. Andrew O'reilly | Fox News, Fox News, "Jeb Bush shames ‘irate passengers’ complaining about airport security on 9/11," 11 Sep. 2019 Today, there are great prices on Instant Pots, robot vacuums, electric knives, and more. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Wednesday," 11 Sep. 2019 Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a small knife, 30 to 35 minutes more. Robin Mather, chicagotribune.com, "New ‘Joy of Cooking’ is a masterwork that will erase any reservations about past editions," 9 Sep. 2019 McDonald was arraigned two days later on one count of murder with a sentencing enhancement allegation of use of a deadly weapon, a knife, according to court records. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Laguna Beach man pleads not guilty to murdering his mother," 6 Sep. 2019 While, for some, hibachi may call to mind onion volcanos and spinning chef’s knives, the hibachi cooking at Misawa takes place behind the scenes in the kitchen, rather than in the dining room. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "This Japanese restaurant on Bardstown Road falls short of serving A+ sushi," 4 Sep. 2019 And now for the first time, plastic forks, knives, and spoons have made the list, according to the group’s new report. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "Plastic food packaging was most common beach trash in 2018," 3 Sep. 2019 When the brioche cups are cool enough to handle, run the blade of a small, sharp knife along their edges to release them, then let the cups cool completely on the rack. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "“Downton Abbey” Recipe: Asparagus Cups," 1 Sep. 2019 Drugs, guns, knives, beatings — the New York crime log is full from this area. Flores’ mother always worried her son would become another statistic here. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ different worlds and story of hope | Commentary," 27 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On Saturday against the Rams, Purcell knifed through the interior to tackle running back Justin Davis for a 2-yard loss in the fourth quarter. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ DeShawn Williams, Mike Purcell pushing through roster bubble," 26 Aug. 2019 The sharp peal of a bell knifes through loud gunfire. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: Logitech G Pro X is a complete package for gamers," 22 Aug. 2019 During a news conference, the commander provided some of the first details about the encounter early Friday in which Deputy Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega, 35, was knifed 11 times. Washington Post, "Italy: Slain police officer didn’t have gun when stabbed," 31 July 2019 Investigators allege Elder knifed the policeman during a struggle after Cerciello Rega and his partner, both plainclothes officers, identified themselves as police. CBS News, "American teen held in Italian officer's deadly stabbing may have been blindfolded by police during interrogation," 28 July 2019 Investigators allege Elder knifed the policeman during a struggle after Cerciello Rega and his partner, both plainclothes officers, identified themselves as police. Frances D'emilio, Houston Chronicle, "Italy: Teen held in officer's death 'illegally blindfolded'," 28 July 2019 One man, 75, was stabbed in the neck and another, 77, was knifed in the back, authorities said. NBC News, "Man goes on stabbing spree, strips off clothes in downtown Seattle attack," 9 July 2019 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

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

14 Sep 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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