noun, plural knives [nahyvz] /naɪvz/.
- 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.
verb (used with object), knifed, knif·ing.
- to apply a knife to; cut, stab, etc., with a knife.
- to attempt to defeat or undermine in a secret or underhanded way.
verb (used without object), knifed, knif·ing.
- 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.
noun plural knives (naɪvz)
- 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
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.
see at gunpoint (knifepoint); under the knife; you could cut it with a knife.