American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A pocketknife with a folding blade.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A knife with one or more blades which fold into the handle. Clasp-knives of bronze have been found among Etruscan remains; they have been found in Rome with iconic handles of bone and other materials, and iron blades. During the middle ages they were probably superseded by the sheath-knife worn in the belt, and were not commonly in use again until the seventeenth century.
- n. In a narrower sense, a large knife with one blade which folds into the handle and may be locked when open by a catch on the back.
- n. alternative spelling of clasp-knife.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. a large knife, the blade of which folds or shuts into the handle.
- n. a large knife with one or more folding blades
“Meanwhile it was fascinating enough to have found a clasp knife with its blade locked by rust, a small glass jar containing a dried pea encrusted with something black and flaky, and a mouldy book of poems by someone called Andreas Laskaratos.”
“Taking a good-size clasp knife from his pocket and opening it, Tom said, “I hear from him again, I take his tongue out.””
“Then Ada took her clasp knife and stripped bark from a hickory sapling and sought out a black locust and lopped two of its limbs with the hand axe and lashed them together with the hickory withes to form up a cross.”
“She would not reply, because she was turning over in her hand the clasp knife that she had once given to her father, or reading the poems of Laskaratos that he had given in return, the voice of the poetry filling her soul as it once had done in the days of a dead and unrecorded world.”
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