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

  • intransitive verb To pierce or wound with or as if with a pointed weapon.
  • intransitive verb To plunge (a pointed weapon or instrument) into something.
  • intransitive verb To make a thrusting or poking motion at or into.
  • intransitive verb To thrust with or as if with a pointed weapon.
  • intransitive verb To inflict a wound with or as if with a pointed weapon.
  • noun A thrust with a pointed weapon or instrument.
  • noun A wound inflicted with or as if with a pointed weapon.
  • noun A sudden piercing pain.
  • noun An attempt; a try.
  • idiom (stab (someone) in the back) To harm (someone) by treachery or betrayal of trust.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In bacteriology, a culture of bacteria produced by stabbing the inoculating needle into the solid medium. See culture.
  • noun 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.
  • noun See the extracts.
  • 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.
  • noun A thrust or blow with the point of a weapon, especially a dagger.
  • noun A wound made with a sharp-pointed weapon.
  • noun A wound given in the dark; a treacherous injury.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[Middle English stabben.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in Middle English, probably from Scottish Gaelic stob ("to prick, to prod, to push, to thrust").


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  • 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 George Manville Fenn 1870

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

    Planet RMFO Blog Kari 2008

  • 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' 2009

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


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

    Poll of Polls: Obama, Clinton both leading McCain 2008

  • 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 2010

  • 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. - Golden Bear belongs with golden oldies 2001

  • 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 1914

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

    Stalking the Pestilence 1914

  • 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 2009


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