under the knife
Undergoing surgery, as in He was awake the entire time he was under the knife. The phrase is often put as go under the knife meaning “be operated on,” as in When do you go under the knife? Knife standing for “surgery” was first recorded in 1880.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?
Words nearby under the knife
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.