- 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 for 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.
Idioms and Phrases with stab in the back
In addition to the idiom beginning with stab
- stab in the back, a
- make a stab at