- to pierce or wound with or as if with a pointed weapon: She stabbed a piece of chicken with her fork.
- to thrust, plunge, or jab (a knife, pointed weapon, or the like) into something: He stabbed the knife into the man's chest.
- to penetrate sharply or painfully: Their misery stabbed his conscience.
- to make a piercing, thrusting, or pointing motion at or in: He stabbed me in the chest with his finger. The speaker stabbed the air in anger.
- to thrust with or as if with a knife or other pointed weapon: to stab at an attacker.
- to deliver a wound, as with a pointed weapon.
- the act of stabbing.
- a thrust or blow with, or as if with, a pointed weapon.
- an attempt; try: Make a stab at an answer before giving up.
- a wound made by stabbing.
- a sudden, brief, and usually painful, sensation: He felt a stab of pain in his foot. A stab of pity ran through her.
- a stab in the back, an act of treachery.
- stab (someone) in the back, to do harm to (someone), especially to a friend or to a person who is unsuspecting or in a defenseless position.
Origin of stab
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for stab
Then stab her to death and bring me back her lungs and liver as proof of your deed.In New Brothers Grimm 'Snow White', The Prince Doesn't Save Her
The Brothers Grimm
November 30, 2014
She ran, but he caught her, and began to stab her in the middle of the street.The Myth of the Central Park Five
October 19, 2014
This prompts Sarah Lynn to stab herself with a Confederate bayonet letter-opener, causing a geyser of blood.'BoJack Horseman': The Debauched Tales of a Drunken, Groupie-Sexing D-List Horse, Hits Netflix
August 22, 2014
Williams comes up dry on Pete Wilson, though he makes a stab at doing Pete Rose.The Stacks: Robin Williams, More Than A Shtick Figure
August 16, 2014
You can stab a woman multiple times with a knife to become a man, but God forbid you sleep with her.A Fantasy Titan Invades the YA Kingdom
July 18, 2014
"Not at all," persisted he, accepting as conversation what she meant as a stab.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
It was cut and parry and stab as quick as eye could see or hand act.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Her poor old joints seemed to stab her, but she fought off the pain angrily.Quaint Courtships
She could scratch, kick, and bite—and stab too; but for stabbing she wanted a knife.The Secret Agent
"Maybe some of our men at New Orleans have laid us open to such a stab," he said.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
- (tr) to pierce or injure with a sharp pointed instrument
- (tr) (of a sharp pointed instrument) to pierce or woundthe knife stabbed her hand
- (when intr , often foll by at) to make a thrust (at); jabhe stabbed at the doorway
- (tr) to inflict with a sharp pain
- stab in the back
- (verb)to do damage to the reputation of (a person, esp a friend) in a surreptitious way
- (noun)a treacherous action or remark that causes the downfall of or injury to a person
- the act or an instance of stabbing
- an injury or rift made by stabbing
- a sudden sensation, esp an unpleasant onea stab of pity
- informal an attempt (esp in the phrase make a stab at)
Word Origin and History for stab
late 14c., first attested in Scottish English, apparently a dialectal variant of Scottish stob "to pierce, stab," of uncertain origin, perhaps a variant of stub (n.) "stake, nail." Figurative use, of emotions, etc., is from 1590s. Related: Stabbed; stabbing.
"wound produced by stabbing," mid-15c., from stab (v.). Meaning "a try" first recorded 1895, American English. Stab in the back "treacherous deed" is first attested 1916.