- 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
- (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 in the back
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.