paper knife



a small, often decorative, knifelike instrument with a blade of metal, ivory, wood, or the like, for slitting open envelopes, the leaves of books, folded papers, etc.
the blade of a paper cutter.

Nearby words

  1. paper clip,
  2. paper cutter,
  3. paper doll,
  4. paper filigree,
  5. paper gold,
  6. paper match,
  7. paper mill worker's disease,
  8. paper money,
  9. paper mulberry,
  10. paper nautilus

Origin of paper knife

First recorded in 1800–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paperknife

  • Hella is painting a paperknife in imitation of tarsia mosaic.

    A Young Girl's Diary|An Anonymous Young Girl
  • He sat drumming on his desk with the antique stainless steel spatula he used as a paperknife.

    Helpfully Yours|Evelyn E. Smith
  • The little judge rapped on the table with his paperknife and urged the reader afresh upon his wild career.

  • I attacked it bravely, however, hacking my way into it, paperknife in hand.

    Simon the Jester|William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for paperknife


noun plural -knives

a knife with a comparatively blunt blade, esp one of wood, bone, etc, for opening sealed envelopes
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