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

  • n. A short pointed weapon with sharp edges.
  • n. Something that agonizes, torments, or wounds.
  • n. Printing See obelisk.
  • n. Printing A double dagger.
  • idiom look daggers at To glare at angrily or hatefully.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A stabbing weapon, similar to a sword but with a short, double-edged blade.
  • n. The text character (†).
  • n. A timber placed diagonally in a ship's frame.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A short weapon used for stabbing. This is the general term: cf. poniard, stiletto, bowie knife, dirk, misericorde, anlace.
  • n. A mark of reference in the form of a dagger [†]. It is the second in order when more than one reference occurs on a page; -- called also obelisk.
  • transitive v. To pierce with a dagger; to stab.
  • n. A timber placed diagonally in a ship's frame.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An edged and pointed weapon for thrusting, shorter than a sword, and used, commonly in connection with the rapier, by swordsmen in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, held in the left hand to parry the thrust of an adversary's rapier.
  • n. Any straight stabbing-weapon, as the dirk, poniard, stiletto, etc.
  • n. In printing, an obelisk; a mark of reference in the form of a dagger, thus: .
  • n. In entomology, the popular name of several noctuid moths of the genus Acronycta: so called from a black dagger-like mark near the inner angle of the fore wings.
  • n. In Sollas's nomenclature of sponge-spicules, a form of the sexradiate spicule resulting from reduction of the distal ray and great development of the proximal ray.
  • n. plural In botany: The sword-grass, Phalaris arundinacea, or perhaps Poa aquatica.
  • n. The yellow flag, Iris Pseudacorus.
  • n. Dagger of lath
  • n. Double dagger
  • To pierce with a dagger; stab.
  • To provide with a dagger.
  • To dagger arms. See arm.
  • n. In ship-building, any timber lying diagonally.

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

  • n. a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote
  • n. a short knife with a pointed blade used for piercing or stabbing


Middle English daggere, alteration of Old French dague, from Old Provençal dague or Old Italian daga, both perhaps from Vulgar Latin *dāca (ēnsis), Dacian (knife), from feminine of Latin Dācus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Related to Old French dague (13th century), Occitan, Italian, Spanish daga, German Degen, Middle Low German dagge ("knife's point"), Old Norse daggardr, Welsh dager, dagr, Breton dac, Albanian thikë ("a knife, dagger"), thek ("to stab, to pierce with a sharp object"). (Wiktionary)
Perhaps from diagonal. (Wiktionary)



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  • in punctuation, this is also known as 'obelisk'.

    April 23, 2008