stab

noun
\ ˈstab How to pronounce stab (audio) \

Definition of stab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a wound produced by a pointed object or weapon
2a : a thrust of a pointed weapon
b : a jerky thrust
3 : effort, try
4 : a sudden sharp feeling stabs of regret

stab

verb
stabbed; stabbing

Definition of stab (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to wound or pierce by the thrust of a pointed object or weapon

intransitive verb

: to thrust or give a wound with or as if with a pointed weapon
stab in the back

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Other Words from stab

Verb

stabber noun

Examples of stab in a Sentence

Noun the injection left a small stab on her upper arm everybody will get a stab at solving the problem Verb He stabbed her with a dagger. The victim was stabbed in the chest five times.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An autopsy listed Self's cause of death was multiple stab wounds, which were found on her face, head, neck, chest and upper extremities. Steven Mross, Arkansas Online, "Spa City woman guilty in deaths of mom, child," 23 Nov. 2019 The Duchess of Cambridge also took a stab at speaking Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Delivers a Speech in Pakistan: "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child"," 17 Oct. 2019 Renowned computer scientists already took a stab at it back in the 1980s. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "This Is the World's Largest Computer Chip," 27 Aug. 2019 Gingell also took a stab at Meisner, a Democratic rival of Woodward's, who was not among the 21 applicants. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Drama continues in Oakland County executive search: 'Backroom politics at its worst'," 14 Aug. 2019 The Public Policy Institute of California took a stab at it last week in a report, concluding basically that some of the money had reached the targeted students, perhaps $500 more per pupil per year. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: California’s achievement gap question remains unanswered," 12 Aug. 2019 Yes, that's a word, and some folks at digital media disruptor BuzzFeed decided to take a stab at it. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Retail Therapy: NYC's Camp experience store coming to Dallas. Shop now tax free in Texas.," 9 Aug. 2019 Some tech companies also are taking a stab at what seems like an intractable problem. Sally Ho, Houston Chronicle, "US cyberbullying is rising, and girls are bearing the brunt," 26 July 2019 Boyle, Finn and Turok take a stab at the singularity, but such an attempt is inherently speculative. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "Cosmologists Clash Over the Beginning of the Universe," 16 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Gallagher was acquitted of murder in the stabbing death of an Islamic State militant captive but convicted of posing with the corpse while in Iraq in 2017. Arkansas Online, "Esper says Trump ordered him to allow SEAL to keep status," 25 Nov. 2019 For the first time, scientists have used therapeutic suspended animation to purposefully induce hypothermia and slow organ functions in patients with traumatic injuries, such as gunshot and stab wounds. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian, "Doctors Put a Patient in Suspended Animation for the First Time," 23 Nov. 2019 She had been stabbed and shot in the head with a .22 handgun. Freep.com, "Murders of Michigan women still unsolved 50 years later — but cops had eye on 1 man," 10 Nov. 2019 The reintroduction of Popeyes’ viral chicken sandwich apparently started an altercation at an Oxon Hill, Maryland, location, resulting in the stabbing death of a 28-year-old man. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Man Fatally Stabbed At Maryland Popeyes Over Line Cutting Argument," 5 Nov. 2019 Sherriff framed her anger in the context of the murder, just before the referendum in 2016, of lawmaker Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed by a right-wing extremist. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "For lawmakers, the UK is becoming a toxic workplace," 29 Oct. 2019 Online court records show that Chuyen Vo pleaded not guilty to one count of murder in the death of Steven Chan, 57, who was stabbed in a university parking lot Aug. 19. Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach man pleads not guilty to murder in stabbing of co-worker at Cal State Fullerton," 4 Oct. 2019 The teaser zooms in on the stomach-stabbing self-experimentations of biohackers like Josiah Zayner and Aaron Traywick. Wired, "Netflix's ‘Unnatural Selection’ Trailer Makes Crispr Personal," 4 Oct. 2019 However, when search was made for him his body was found in the path through the swamp, all gashed and torn, and but a few steps from him the body of a cougar, stabbed and cut in many places. Declan Leary, National Review, "Theodore Roosevelt on the Range," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stab.' 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 stab

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for stab

Noun

Middle English stabbe

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Time Traveler for stab

Time Traveler

The first known use of stab was in the 15th century

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Statistics for stab

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Stab.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stabs%20in%20the%20back. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for stab

stab

noun
How to pronounce stab (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a wound made by a pointed weapon (such as a knife)
: a sudden, strong feeling of physical or emotional pain
informal : an attempt to do something successfully

stab

verb

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

: to wound (someone or something) with a pointed weapon (such as a knife)
: to quickly or suddenly push a pointed object into or toward someone or something

stab

noun
\ ˈstab How to pronounce stab (audio) \

Kids Definition of stab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a wound produced by or as if by a pointed weapon
2 : thrust entry 2 sense 1 His first stab missed.
3 : try entry 2, effort Take a stab at the answer.

stab

verb
stabbed; stabbing

Kids Definition of stab (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to wound or pierce with or as if with a pointed weapon
2 : drive entry 1 sense 4, thrust … Humbug gingerly stabbed his cane in the air …— Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

stab

noun
\ ˈstab How to pronounce stab (audio) \

Medical Definition of stab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a wound produced by a pointed object or weapon
2a : a culture medium solidified in an upright column in a tube to reduce the surface to a minimum — compare slant
stabbed; stabbing

Medical Definition of stab (Entry 2 of 2)

: to wound or pierce by the thrust of a pointed object or weapon

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More from Merriam-Webster on stab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stab

Spanish Central: Translation of stab

Nglish: Translation of stab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stab for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stab

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