from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade attached to a handle.
  • noun A cutting edge; a blade.
  • intransitive verb To use a knife on, especially to stab; wound with a knife.
  • intransitive verb Informal To betray or attempt to defeat by underhand means.
  • intransitive verb To cut or slash a way through something with or as if with a knife.
  • idiom (under the knife) Undergoing surgery.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To stab or kill with a knife.
  • To endeavor to defeat in a secret or underhand way in an election, as a candidate of one's own party. [Political slang, U.S.]
  • noun A cutting-instrument consisting of a comparatively short blade and a handle, adapted for easy use with the hand.
  • noun In a wider sense, any small cutting-tool, or any part of a tool or machine having a sharp edge for cutting or scraping: as, the knives of a mowing-machine, printing-press, meat-chopper, straw-cutter, etc.
  • noun A sword or cutlas; a long cutting-weapon.
  • noun A saddlers' cutting-tool with a sharp convex edge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An instrument consisting of a thin blade, usually of steel and having a sharp edge for cutting, fastened to a handle, but of many different forms and names for different uses.
  • noun A sword or dagger.
  • noun (Bot.) a tropical American sedge (Scleria latifolia), having leaves with a very sharp and hard edge, like a knife.
  • noun mortal combat; a conflict carried to the last extremity.
  • transitive verb (Hort.) To prune with the knife.
  • transitive verb Low To cut or stab with a knife.
  • transitive verb Slang, U. S. Fig.: To stab in the back; to try to defeat by underhand means, esp. in politics; to vote or work secretly against (a candidate of one's own party).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A utensil or a tool designed for cutting, consisting of a flat piece of hard material, usually steel or other metal (the blade), usually sharpened on one edge, attached to a handle. The blade may be pointed for piercing.
  • noun A weapon designed with the aforementioned specifications intended for slashing and/or stabbing and too short to be called a sword. A dagger.
  • noun Any blade-like part in a tool or a machine designed for cutting, such as the knives for a chipper.
  • verb transitive To cut with a knife.
  • verb transitive To use a knife to injure or kill by stabbing, slashing, or otherwise using the sharp edge of the knife as a weapon.
  • verb intransitive To cut through as if with a knife.
  • verb transitive To betray, especially in the context of a political slate.
  • verb transitive To positively ignore, especially in order to denigrate. compare cut

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun edge tool used as a cutting instrument; has a pointed blade with a sharp edge and a handle
  • noun any long thin projection that is transient
  • noun a weapon with a handle and blade with a sharp point
  • verb use a knife on


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English knif, from Old English cnīf, from Old Norse knīfr.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English knif, from late Old English cnīf, from Old Norse knífr (compare Danish/Swedish/Norwegian kniv), from Proto-Germanic *knībaz (compare Low German Knief, Luxembourgish Knäip ‘penknife’), from *knīpanan ‘to pinch’ (compare Dutch knijpen, Low German kniepen, Old High German gniffen), from Proto-Indo-European *gneibʰ- (compare Lithuanian gnýbti, žnýbti ‘to pinch’, gnaibis ‘pinching’). Replaced Middle English sexe.


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