[ dag-er ]
/ ˈdæg ər /


a short, swordlike weapon with a pointed blade and a handle, used for stabbing.
Also called obelisk. Printing. a mark (†) used especially for references.

verb (used with object)

to stab with or as if with a dagger.
Printing. to mark with a dagger.

Nearby words

  1. dagda,
  2. dagenham,
  3. dagestan,
  4. dagestan republic,
  5. dagga,
  6. daggerboard,
  7. daggers drawn, at,
  8. daggle,
  9. daggy,
  10. daghda


    look daggers at, to look at angrily, threateningly, or with hate.

Origin of dagger

1350–1400; Middle English, probably alteration of Old French dague, of obscure origin; cf. dag1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dagger

British Dictionary definitions for dagger


/ (ˈdæɡə) /


a short stabbing weapon with a pointed blade
Also called: obelisk a character (†) used in printing to indicate a cross reference, esp to a footnote
at daggers drawn in a state of open hostility
look daggers to glare with hostility; scowl

verb (tr)

to mark with a dagger
archaic to stab with a dagger

Word Origin for dagger

C14: of uncertain origin

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dagger



late 14c., apparently from Old French dague "dagger," from Old Provençal dague or Italian daga, of uncertain origin; perhaps Celtic, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *daca "Dacian knife," from the Roman province in modern Romania. The ending is possibly the faintly pejorative -ard suffix. Attested earlier (1279) as a surname (Dagard, presumably "one who carried a dagger"). Middle Dutch dagge, Danish daggert, German Degen also are from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dagger


In addition to the idiom beginning with daggers

  • daggers drawn, at

also see:

  • look daggers
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.