knife

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

Synonyms for knife

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Cut the fruit in half with a knife, avoid cutting the hard seeds inside, work around them. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 16 Sep. 2021 The episode occurred on Oct. 27, 2020, amid protests in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man who police said was armed with a knife. BostonGlobe.com, 15 Sep. 2021 The 44-year-old then stabbed the 38-year-old in the back with a knife, police said. Stephanie Casanova, chicagotribune.com, 15 Sep. 2021 Police said their investigation revealed that the victim was asleep on a bench when Wood approached him with a knife and slapped him in the head. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, 12 Sep. 2021 The student with the knife was apprehended, and the victim received medical attention, according to Ellen Rogers, the district's community relations coordinator. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, 8 Sep. 2021 On September 30 in Edmonton, Canada, a man purposely strikes a police officer with a white Chevrolet Malibu before jumping out of the vehicle, stabbing the officer several times with a knife and fleeing on foot. CNN, 6 Sep. 2021 Debbie stayed home, while Michelle testified, repeating what had happened with the knife. jsonline.com, 1 Sep. 2021 The department said one of the officers fired his weapon when the man threatened him with the knife. Hojun Choi, Dallas News, 1 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This can come in handy when picking off enemies silently, as can ambushing them from behind and knifing them with your switch blade (Ellie has no shivs, the breakable weapons from the prior game). Washington Post, 1 June 2020 My first snow-speeder of the day! — a hulking Ram pickup knifing in and out of traffic, eager to show off its road-skiing abilities. cleveland, 8 Feb. 2020 Conner and Samuels touched the ball on all five snaps of a second-quarter drive that ended with Conner taking a flip from Rudolph and knifing his way into the end zone to give the Steelers a 7-3 lead. Will Graves, orlandosentinel.com, 1 Oct. 2019 Henry continued his second straight late-season surge by knifing into the paint and hitting short shots and forcing OSU’s defense to collapse, on top of an all-around performance at the other end of the floor. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 8 Mar. 2020 Adams is outstanding at attacking his run fits and knifing his way into the backfield to make plays as a blitzer. John Owning, Dallas News, 27 Jan. 2020 Then the lead was knifed to 10 points on Scott's touchdown. Rich Exner, cleveland, 3 Dec. 2019 Dombrowski took over for Ben Cherington, who was knifed in the back less than two years after winning the 2013 World Series. BostonGlobe.com, 26 Oct. 2019 First-and-10 at the Titans 16: Philip Rivers hit Austin Ekeler underneath and the elusive running back knifed the final 12 yards into the end zone. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, 25 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for knife

Time Traveler

The first known use of knife was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near knife

knickpoint

knife

knife and fork

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Statistics for knife

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Knife.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knife. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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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 knife (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

More from Merriam-Webster on knife

Nglish: Translation of knife for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of knife for Arabic Speakers

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