Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To pierce or wound with or as if with a pointed weapon.
  • transitive v. To plunge (a pointed weapon or instrument) into something.
  • transitive v. To make a thrusting or poking motion at or into: stabbed the air with his fingers.
  • intransitive v. To thrust with or as if with a pointed weapon: stabbed at the food with her fork.
  • intransitive v. To inflict a wound with or as if with a pointed weapon.
  • n. A thrust with a pointed weapon or instrument.
  • n. A wound inflicted with or as if with a pointed weapon.
  • n. A sudden piercing pain.
  • n. An attempt; a try: made a stab at the answer.
  • idiom stab (someone) in the back To harm (someone) by treachery or betrayal of trust.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act of stabbing or thrusting with an object.
  • n. A wound made by stabbing.
  • n. Pain inflicted on a person's feelings.
  • n. An attempt.
  • n. Criticism.
  • v. To pierce or to wound with a pointed tool or weapon, especially a knife or dagger.
  • v. To recklessly hit with the tip of a pointed object, such as a weapon or finger (often used with at).
  • v. To cause a sharp, painful sensation (often used with at).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The thrust of a pointed weapon.
  • n. A wound with a sharp-pointed weapon.
  • n. Fig.: An injury inflicted covertly or suddenly.
  • intransitive v. To give a wound with a pointed weapon; to pierce; to thrust with a pointed weapon.
  • intransitive v. To wound or pain, as if with a pointed weapon.
  • transitive v. To pierce with a pointed weapon; to wound or kill by the thrust of a pointed instrument; ; also, to thrust.
  • transitive v. Fig.: To injure secretly or by malicious falsehood or slander.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To puncture, pierce, or wound with or as with a pointed weapon, especially with a knife or dagger.
  • To thrust or plunge, as a pointed weapon.
  • Figuratively, to pierce or penetrate; inflict keen or severe pain upon: injure secretly, as by slander or malicious falsehoods: as, to stab one in the back (that is, to slander one behind his back).
  • In masonry, to pick (a brick wall) so as to make it rough, and thereby afford a hold for plaster.
  • To aim a blow with a dagger or other pointed weapon, either literally or figuratively: as, to stab at a person.
  • To wound; be extremely cutting.
  • In bookbinding, to perforate near the back folds (the assembled sections of an unbound book). This operation is immediately followed by the insertion of the thread or wire which secures the sections together.
  • n. A thrust or blow with the point of a weapon, especially a dagger.
  • n. A wound made with a sharp-pointed weapon.
  • n. A wound given in the dark; a treacherous injury.
  • n. In bacteriology, a culture of bacteria produced by stabbing the inoculating needle into the solid medium. See culture.
  • n. In billiards, a foreshortened stroke, causing the cue-ball, for some special reason, to stop in the place of the one it set in motion.
  • n. See the extracts.

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

  • v. use a knife on
  • n. a sudden sharp feeling
  • v. stab or pierce
  • n. a strong blow with a knife or other sharp pointed instrument
  • v. poke or thrust abruptly
  • n. informal words for any attempt or effort

Etymologies

Middle English stabben.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in Middle English, probably from Scottish Gaelic stobĀ ("to prick, to prod, to push, to thrust"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Bang went his stabbing assagai against his shield, and then _stab, stab, stab_, when he turned upon his feet as if upon a pivot, darting his weapon as if he were some fierce creature armed with

    Charge! A Story of Briton and Boer

  • Rather than being spoken to like a kindergartner. * stab stab stab*

    Planet RMFO Blog

  • The Democrats will once again stab our troops in the back and vote against funding.

    First on the Ticker: DNC ad: GOP 'playing politics with our troops'

  • A taint stab is better because they may be too embarrassed to go to a doctor and die of blood loss/infection.

    FILMDRUNK WEEKEND PREVIEW

  • Are there any other Veterans outraged by McCain stab in the back?

    Poll of Polls: Obama, Clinton both leading McCain

  • Too, of course, the stab from a shorter distance at closer range, point-blank range, so to speak, is likely to be more accurate.

    Cinnamon Roll

  • Over on the 17th green, while Nicklaus waited to take a vain stab at par, Palmer buried his right hand in his slacks and fumbled for a ballmarker long enough to inspire a nervous gallery moan.

    USATODAY.com - Golden Bear belongs with golden oldies

  • The stab of the hypodermic syringe, different from the manner of administering morphine just under the skin, goes straight down and squarely down into the meat of the arm for half an inch; but the pang of the stab is no severer.

    Stalking the Pestilence

  • The hurt of the stab is over the instant the skin is punctured.

    Stalking the Pestilence

  • You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics seems more than a pejorative stab, but rather, an astute observation of the narrow atheist view of reality, their unwillingness to concede science and reason's limitations, and other means of epistemology other than material empiricism.

    two or three . net

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