- plural of knife.
- an instrument for cutting, consisting essentially of a thin, sharp-edged, metal blade fitted with a handle.
- a knifelike weapon; dagger or short sword.
- any blade for cutting, as in a tool or machine.
- to apply a knife to; cut, stab, etc., with a knife.
- to attempt to defeat or undermine in a secret or underhanded way.
- to move or cleave through something with or as if with a knife: The ship knifed through the heavy seas.
- under the knife, in surgery; undergoing a medical operation: The patient was under the knife for four hours.
Origin of knife
Examples from the Web for knives
Bill, full name William Poole, was a real life butcher, skilled with knives and raised in the art of street fighting.Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard
October 23, 2014
Men with knives had abducted members of a group sent there to spread awareness about the disease.
An angry mob brandishing machetes, stones, and knives lashed out.
Some had knives pressed against their throats for what seemed like an hour.Abducted, Tortured, Indoctrinated: The Tale of a Teen Who Escaped ISIS
August 4, 2014
They wielded baseball bats and knives, yelling “Jews, Jews, Jews” as they carried out the attacks.Italy Suddenly Gets Ugly for Jews
Barbie Latza Nadeau
July 29, 2014
He made signs for me to give him the knife, but I could not, as we were very short of knives.Explorations in Australia
Then she picked one of the knives from the bucket and handed it to him.Her Father's Daughter
Here my mistress met me with a double allowance of knives to clean.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
The arms of the pale faces are long, and their knives sharp!
Why should they brighten their tomahawks and sharpen their knives against each other?
- the plural of knife
- a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp-edged often pointed blade of metal fitted into a handle or onto a machine
- a similar instrument used as a weapon
- have one's knife in someone to have a grudge against or victimize someone
- twist the knife to make a bad situation worse in a deliberately malicious way
- the knives are out for someone British people are determined to harm or put a stop to someonethe knives are out for Stevens
- under the knife undergoing a surgical operation
- to cut, stab, or kill with a knife
- to betray, injure, or depose in an underhand way
Word Origin and History for knives
late Old English cnif, probably from Old Norse knifr, from Proto-Germanic *knibaz (cf. Middle Low German knif, Middle Dutch cnijf, German kneif), of uncertain origin. To further confuse the etymology, there also are forms in -p-, e.g. Dutch knijp, German kneip. French canif "penknife" (mid-15c.) is borrowed from Middle English or Norse.
1865, from knife (n.). Related: Knifed; knifing.
Idioms and Phrases with knives
see at gunpoint (knifepoint); under the knife; you could cut it with a knife.